They have an asymmetric shape and an uneven or jagged border. Atypical moles are usually more than two different shades of brown and are not the same color throughout (see drawing). They can sometimes look like a type of skin cancer called melanoma, but they are not melanoma.
Can normal moles be irregular shape?
Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are unusual-looking moles that have irregular features under the microscope. Though benign, they are worth more of your attention because individuals with atypical moles are at increased risk for melanoma, a dangerous skin cancer.
What shape should moles be?
“Moles should appear symmetrical and round, with clearly-defined borders. They may be flat or raised, but should be smaller than a pencil eraser (6 millimeters). Moles should also be the same color throughout,” Mandernach says. Certain mole colors raise more concern than others.
Do moles have to be perfectly round?
Border: The outside edges of a mole should be fairly rounded. If the border of a mole on your body is irregular or poorly defined, it could be a problem. Color: If your mole isn’t one shade of dark brown and is instead pink or varies in color throughout, it could be cancerous.
Are all moles that change shape cancerous?
Changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of a mole are often the first warning signs of melanoma. These changes can occur in an existing mole, or melanoma may appear as a new or unusual-looking mole.
What do irregular moles look like?
Atypical moles can also be flat or raised. They also have these characteristics: They measure more than 1/4 inch (5 mm) across — larger than the size of a pencil eraser. They are irregularly shaped, with uneven borders that may fade into the skin around the mole.
Do moles get bigger with age?
Moles may change over time. They may get bigger, grow a hair, become more raised, get lighter in color, or fade away. Many people develop new moles until about age 40. Most of these are normal changes.
Is a melanoma raised or flat?
Usually melanomas develop in or around an existing mole. Signs and symptoms of melanoma vary depending on the exact type and may include: A flat or slightly raised, discolored patch with irregular borders and possible areas of tan, brown, black, red, blue or white (superficial spreading melanoma)
Why do moles appear suddenly?
It’s thought to be an interaction of genetic factors and sun damage in most cases. Moles usually emerge in childhood and adolescence, and change in size and color as you grow. New moles commonly appear at times when your hormone levels change, such as during pregnancy. Most moles are less than 1/4 inch in diameter.
What happens if you pick a mole off?
Scratching off a mole will probably cause some bleeding, but should not require medical treatment. However, if a mole continues to bleed, it should be examined by a dermatologist. Note however, that a growth on the skin that continually bleeds may be a warning sign of skin cancer.
Can moles not be round?
A – Asymmetrical: A mole is asymmetrical when its shape is not fairly round. While it’s not always worrying to see a mole that isn’t perfectly round, a mole’s general shape can tell whether melanoma may be hiding within.
Can moles break apart?
Some moles eventually fall off altogether. When healthy moles disappear, the process is typically gradual. A disappearing mole may begin as a flat spot, gradually become raised, then get light, pale, and eventually disappear.
Can moles appear suddenly on the body?
Moles, or nevi, typically form during childhood and adolescence, but new moles can appear in adulthood. Although most moles are noncancerous, or benign, the development of a new mole or sudden changes to existing moles in an adult can be a sign of melanoma.
What moles should you worry about?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.
What does early stage melanoma look like?
Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
Are Raised moles dangerous?
The vast majority of moles are not dangerous. Moles that are more likely to be cancer are those that look different than other existing moles or those that first appear after age 25. If you notice changes in a mole’s color, height, size, or shape, you should have a dermatologist (skin doctor) evaluate it.