A mole, known by the medical term nevus, is a brown or black growth that occurs on the skin when cells grow in a cluster, rather than spread out. Moles, which can appear anywhere on the skin’s surface, may be present at birth or develop later in life. Over time, some moles change, others disappear and still others remain the same. People with fair complexions, red or blond hair, and blue or green eyes are more apt to have moles.
A dermatologist is trained to identify moles, which the average patient may confuse for any number of other dark spots on the skin.
No. In fact, most don’t require any treatment. A mole need be removed only if:
• It’s bothersome, such as causing discomfort by rubbing against clothing. Could be skin cancer.
• A person doesn’t like the way it looks.
• It’s potentially cancerous. Moles are more likely to be cancerous if: they look different than other moles on a patient’s face or body, they appear after the person is age 30, they change in color, size, or shape, become raised, bleed, itch, ooze, or are painful.
A mole can be removed in two ways. These are:
If a removed mole grows back, have it checked. This can be a sign of skin cancer.
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