A mole is a skin growth made up of cells (melanocytes or nevus
cells) that produce color (pigment). Moles can appear anywhere on the skin,
alone or in groups.
Most moles appear during the first 20 years of a person's life.
Some may not appear until later in life. Although most moles are harmless, some
can become cancerous. Signs of skin cancer include a change in the skin, such
as a growth, an irritation or sore that does not heal, or a change in a wart or
Moles are usually brown, but they can
be blue, black, or flesh-colored.
Size and shape may
During the teen years and pregnancy, moles tend to become
darker and larger, and new ones may appear.
Some moles may contain
hairs, stay smooth, become raised or wrinkled, or fall off in old age.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Amy McMichael, MD - Dermatology