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Moles: Here's What You Should Know

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Oct 10, 2022

Moles: Here's What You Should Know

What are moles? Are they sign of a serious condition like cancer or are they pretty harmless? Learn a few interesting facts about moles.

Fact 1: A Mole That’s Been Removed Will Not Regrow

In fact, if you have a mole that is growing or changing after being completely or partially removed, schedule a dermatology appointment right away. Change in the appearance of a mole or a new growth in the skin may or may not necessarily be a sign of skin cancer. If a mole is completely excised (cut out with stitches), it should not come back. If the mole is only partially removed, it may likely grow back.

Fact 2: If a Mole Grows, It Doesn’t Always Necessarily Mean Cancer

Although a growing mole can be a sign of skin cancer, it’s vital to understand that this isn’t the only indication. Instead, we advise patients to watch for the following in a mole:

  • Asymmetry. Check the mole’s color, size, or shape from the top to the bottom or from left to right.
  • Borders. Notice if a mole is irregularly shaped, not circular or ova
  • Color. Monitor a mole that is a different color than your other moles or has multiple colors within it.
  • Diameter. Check a mole with a diameter greater than that of a pencil eraser and/or one that changes in size.
  • Evolution. Track a mole that goes through any changes in color, size, or shape over time

Fact 3: A Child’s Mole Will Develop As They Do; Be Concerned If It Changes

Melanoma can occur at any age, so it’s crucial for any suspicious lesion to be assessed by a dermatologist who is knowledgeable about the warning signs. Because moles grow as children do, a growing mole in a child is less worrying than it is in an adult.

Fact 4: Not All Skin Malignancies Begin as Moles

Although melanoma has the best name recognition because it’s typically the most aggressive, melanoma is actually the rarest of the three primary types of skin cancer. As a result, schedule an appointment if you notice any changes in your skin (whether it’s a mole or not). Skin cancer can take many different forms.

Fact 5: A Mole Cannot Become Larger or Malignant Through Picking 

It’s never a good idea to pick at a mole or attempt to remove it yourself because this might result in a deadly infection. Although it is not true that picking your mole will make it grow aggressively, it may cause scarring. Chronic wounds may develop into malignant lesions in some cases.

Fact 6: Moles Are Common

It is pretty common to have moles, and most of them are innocuous. They shouldn’t hurt, itch, or bleed; and a mole can last up to 50 years. A mole is also called a nevus or a beauty mark.

Fact 7: Moles May Grow

Moles typically grow. But when a person reaches a certain age, moles should stop growing in proportion to that person. If you find a mole that seems to still be growing, especially when you’re an adult in your 40s or 50s, you should get it checked out.

Fact 8: Moles Usually Develop On Areas Exposed to Sunlight

Most people have between 10 and 40 common moles. These growths are typically seen above the waist in areas exposed to the sun. However, they are rarely found on the scalp, breast, or buttocks. Common moles are caused by pigment cells (melanocytes) growing in clusters.

Fact 9: You Shouldn’t Pluck The Hairs On Your Mole

It’s not unusual to see one or more hairs growing out of a mole because healthy skin cells that make up a mole allow hair growth to continue as normal. The follicle, not the mole itself, is what creates hair. Do not pluck hair from a mole as it may cause inflammation and/or infection.

Learn more about Skin Issues here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Martha Juco, MD


Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Oct 10, 2022

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