The average person has somewhere between 10 and 40 moles on their body. If you look around on your skin, you’re probably going to find at least a few moles somewhere. Most of them will be above your waist since that’s the part of your body that is exposed to the sun the most.
So, what are moles? Are moles on the skin bad for you? And what should you do if you have an excessive number of moles?
Today, we’re going to take a deep dive into moles to tell you all about them so that you know whether you should worry about any moles you might have. Continue reading to find out just about everything you need to know about moles.
What Are Moles?
First things first: What are moles? It’s going to be pretty difficult to identify moles if you aren’t 100% sure what you’re looking for.
Moles are skin growths that will typically be small in size and brown. But with that being said, it’s not all that uncommon for some moles to differ in size and come in other colors, including tan, black, red, pink, and even blue.
As we alluded to earlier, it isn’t that out of the ordinary for people to have a few dozen moles on their bodies. Some will be smooth, while others will be wrinkled or raised. They can grow on just about any part of your skin, and there are instances where they’ll have hair growing out of them.
In some situations, you’ll have certain moles that will exist on your body for your entire life. But in others, you might have new moles that will grow right up until you’re middle-aged, at which point most people will stop growing moles.
It would be a great idea for you to monitor any new moles that might pop up. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for any moles that start to get larger over time or change colors.
What Are the Different Types of Moles?
Although most moles will have similar appearances, there are several different types of moles that should be on your radar. These types of moles include:
- Congenital moles, which are moles that you were born with
- Acquired nevi moles, which are moles that show up after you’re born
- Dysplastic nevi moles, which are moles that are abnormal when it comes to size, color, or texture
- Spitz nevi moles, which are moles that are raised and that often have the same general appearance as melanoma
It can be challenging for the average person to differentiate between the various types of moles. They’ll often look the same to the naked eye. But a doctor or a dermatologist should be able to tell you which types of moles you have growing on your body so that you know if you need to be concerned about them.
What Causes Moles?
Moles are caused by clusters of melanocytes that come together in spots on your skin. These melanocytes contain pigment, which is why moles will change the color of your skin in some areas.
The good news for those who have moles is that they won’t usually have to worry too much about them. Most moles are benign moles that aren’t going to lead to a person developing skin cancer or other complications.
But with that being said, not all moles are going to be healthy moles. There are some moles that can lead to you developing melanoma, which is known to be the most serious form of skin cancer.
Are Moles Bad for You?
If you have your fair share of moles, you’ll be happy to hear that they shouldn’t do your body much harm.
Some people don’t love the mole appearance and will do what they can to have them removed. There are natural mole removal remedies that you can try out if you have moles that you want to get rid of ASAP.
But you don’t need to freak out if you see moles on the skin. As long as these moles aren’t evolving and changing shapes, colors, etc., you should be in the clear.
When Should You See a Doctor About Moles?
While moles shouldn’t cause too many issues for you throughout the course of your life, you will want to see a doctor about them on certain occasions. More specifically, you should try to make an appointment with a dermatologist who can assess any moles you might have and tell you if you have anything to be worried about.
Here are just a few of the signs that you should see a doctor right away to have a mole looked at:
- A mole is asymmetrical in shape
- A mole has irregular borders
- A mole has either changed colors on you or turned more than one color
- A mole is bigger than it used to be
- A mole is itchy, bleeding, or bothering you in some other way
Generally speaking, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to any growths you might have on your skin, including moles. You would rather have a doctor say, “Oh that? It’s nothing!”, after seeing a mole than tell you that you should have come to see them sooner.
What Might Happen If You Ignore Moles?
The majority of moles should start to fade away over time and possibly even disappear altogether. In this case, you’ll be happy to see them changing for the better.
But if you spot any of the signs that we just mentioned and you choose not to see a doctor about a mole, you might not like what happens next. There are some moles that can turn cancerous and make a negative impact on your health in both the short and long term.
There are almost 10,000 people diagnosed with skin cancer each and every day. This makes skin cancer the most prevalent form of cancer, and it could be affecting you if you’re seeing signs that one or more of your moles are changing.
If you’re able to catch skin cancer early, it’s one of the easiest forms of cancer to treat. But if you ignore moles for an extended period of time and don’t do anything about them, this could make it way more difficult to treat. It could start to spread before long and leave you fighting for your life.
You should get yourself into the habit of evaluating any moles that you might have and noting differences in them. If you spot even the smallest differences, you’ll need to discuss them with a doctor sooner rather than later.
What Can You Do to Prevent Moles?
It’s going to be pretty much impossible for you to prevent any moles from growing on your body. Some moles are going to exist when you’re first born, and others are going to pop up out of nowhere throughout your life.
You can, however, cut down on the number of new moles that will grow by taking a few preventative steps. For instance, you can:
- Stay out of the sun as much as you can every day, including in the fall and winter
- Put on sunscreen if you know you’re going to be out in the sun for more than just a few minutes
- Wear hats, sunglasses, etc. to protect your body from the sun and its harmful UV rays
- Steer clear of tanning beds and tanning lamps
Even if you do all these things, you still might see moles appear on your skin. But you should see far fewer of them than you would otherwise. It’ll reduce your chances of ever being diagnosed with skin cancer and help you avoid having to figure out a way to get rid of moles that you don’t like to see.
Make Sure You Check for Moles on a Regular Basis
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What are moles?”, and you understand the ins and outs of moles, you should start sneaking a peek at your moles more often. It could help you catch any potential problems with moles on the earlier side.
You should also check your skin for any other blemishes that you haven’t seen before. You might want to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about them as well.
Would you like to read more informative articles about taking good care of your skin? Poke around on the rest of our blog to find them.