Moles

Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few moles. Adults who have light skin often have more moles. You may have 10 to 50 moles on your skin. This is normal.

You should not be overly worried about your moles. But you should know:

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If a mole starts to grow, bleed, change color or shape it’s important to see a dermatologist.

Moles in children: What parents should know

Moles on a young child’s skin are generally nothing to worry about. It is normal for new moles to appear during childhood and adolescence. Moles will grow as the child grows. Some moles will darken, and others will lighten. These changes are expected in children and seldom a sign of melanoma — a type of skin cancer that can begin in a mole.

Moles: What to look for

People often want to know how they can tell a mole from a melanoma. As a general rule moles should be uniform in color, round or oval, and have smooth borders. Using the ABCDE’s can help find abnormal moles on your body.

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ABCDE’s of Melanoma

Another important sign to look for is often referred to as the “ugly duckling” sign. This means any mole that stands out or doesn’t resemble other moles on your body may be concerning.

Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. Moles develop on the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles and palms, on the genitals and even under the nails.

If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs of melanoma, see a dermatologist immediately.

Images property of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Moles: Tips for managing

Dermatologists recommend the following to their patients:

Related resources:


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