3 Interesting Facts About Moles

Moles: nearly all adults have at least one. In fact, it is common for adults to have between 10 and 40 moles on various parts of their bodies. Many people either worry too much about non-dangerous moles, or do the opposite and let abnormal moles grow worse because they are unaware that there is a problem. Listed below are three interesting facts about moles that can help you increase your knowledge and make decisions about them in the future. 

1. What's in a Mole?

Moles occur when melanocytes, cells in the skin that give it pigment, grow in clusters rather than spreading out evenly. Simply put, a mole is a dark spot that occurs from a higher concentration of pigment-producing cells being located in that area. Moles can occur anywhere on your body and are more prevalent in people with lighter skin. 

2. Know Your Types

There are four main types of moles. The first, dsyplastic moles, are also knows as atypical moles. These moles are often asymmetrical, larger than a pencil eraser, and are a mix of several colors. Melanoma develops more often in dysplastic moles, so you should get this kind of mole looked at if you notice any changes. Congenital moles (moles you were born with) can be found on 1 in 100 people. The larger the mole, the greater chance you have of developing melanoma. Spitz nevus moles are different looking that the first two described; they are often pink, raised, and dome-shaped, and can often be mistaken for melanoma. Finally, acquired moles are moles the occur after birth. The greater number of acquired moles you have, the greater your risk for melanoma.

3. Most Moles are Harmless

It might be scary to read about all the different kinds of moles and the risk for melanoma associated with each one. However, doctors have found that the majority of moles are harmless. You can check your moles according to the ABCDE's if you have concerns. A stands for asymmetry, B stands for irregular border, C stands for irregular color, D stands for diameter greater than .25 inches, and E stands for elevation. If none of these issues apply to your mole, you most likely do not need to worry about it. 

When it comes to our health, it is important for us to stay informed. Knowing just a little bit of information about the moles on our skin can help us discern between dangerous and non-dangerous moles. We can save ourselves from a lot of unnecessary worry, or we can get ourselves to the doctor or dermatologist, like those at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists, quickly, depending on what we find.