Frequent question: What does a benign mole look like?

While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear. D is for Diameter and Dark.

How can you tell if a mole is benign?

Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma

  1. Asymmetry: the sides of the mole or growth don’t match.
  2. Border: the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  3. Color: the color within the mole or growth varies.
  4. Diameter: the mole or growth is larger than 6 millimeters (size of a pencil eraser).

Can a changing mole be benign?

Moles (nevi)

Moles can change over time and often respond to hormonal changes. Most moles are benign and no treatment is needed. Some benign moles may develop into skin cancer (melanoma).

What do normal moles look like?

A normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised. It can be round or oval. Moles are generally less than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch) across (about the width of a pencil eraser).

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Can you tell if a mole is cancerous by looking at it?

Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole. Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin. Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back. Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump.

When should I worry about a mole?

It’s important to get a new or existing mole checked out if it: changes shape or looks uneven. changes colour, gets darker or has more than 2 colours. starts itching, crusting, flaking or bleeding.

Is 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)

Is a new mole something to worry about?

Almost all moles are benign (noncancerous). But new moles in an adult are more likely to become cancerous than old moles. If a new mole appears when you’re older, or if a mole changes in appearance, you should see a dermatologist to make sure it’s not cancerous.

Why did my mole disappear?

A disappearing mole may begin as a flat spot, gradually become raised, then get light, pale, and eventually disappear. This natural evolution of moles rarely indicates cancer. However, when a mole does disappear suddenly, it may be due to melanoma or another type of skin cancer.

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Can a mole grow back overnight?

If a common mole is removed completely, it should not grow back. However, some residents may experience the regrowth of a mole if some of the mole cells were left behind after the mole removal procedure. But a mole that grows back does not mean it is cancerous.

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.

What does the beginning of a mole look like?

A common mole (nevus) is a small growth on the skin that is usually pink, tan, or brown and has a distinct edge.

Photos of Moles.

Common Moles Dysplastic Nevi
Common moles that are smooth spots on the skin Dysplastic nevi with scaly or pebbly surfaces

What makes a mole suspicious?

A mole that does not have the same color throughout or that has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red is suspicious. Normal moles are usually a single shade of color. A mole of many shades or that has lightened or darkened should be checked by a doctor.

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.

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Can you have a cancerous mole for years?

They can change or even disappear over the years, and very rarely can become skin cancers. Some research suggests that having more than 50 common moles may increase one’s risk of melanoma.

What skin cancer looks like when it starts?

Melanoma signs include: A large brownish spot with darker speckles. A mole that changes in color, size or feel or that bleeds. A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, white, blue or blue-black.

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