From Pimples to Moles: A Website About Dermatology

FAQs About Moles, Mole Checks, And Your Skin

What is a mole and why should a dermatologist examine it? If you have splotches, patches, or raised regions on your skin, you may wonder if they are moles or something else. If you have questions about these marks, take a look at what you need to know about your skin, mole checks, and the services your dermatologist offers.

Are All Moles the Same?

Also known as nevi, these growths may vary in appearance. Moles come in many colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. These differences can make it tricky to accurately identify a mole—in comparison to other skin growths or marks. 

How Many Moles Can You Have?

There's no universal answer to this question or magic number of moles a person could or should have. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), adults may have between 10 and 40 moles. A larger number (closer to 40 than 10) of moles isn't necessarily a cause for concern. Instead of quantity, pay more attention to the appearance of the lesions.

What Do Skin Moles Look Like?

The moles on your face or body may have a flesh tone or look darker than your skin. Some moles are raised, while others are flat. Along with the color and texture, moles can also vary in size from tiny growths to much larger lesions on the skin. 

What Does An Abnormal Mole Look Like?

Even though one mole may look different from another, some moles have an abnormal type of appearance. An abnormal or atypical mole may suddenly look different or change over time. Red flags to watch for include asymmetry, border shape, color (a change in color or multiple shades in one mole), and diameter. A dermatologist mole check service provides a professional examination of these lesions. If you have concerns about the appearance of your moles, contact your doctor as soon as possible.

What Should You Do If You Have An Abnormal Mole?

Again, a dermatologist should examine any suspicious moles or lesions you have concerns about. The doctor will look for subtle signs you may miss. If necessary, the dermatologist will biopsy the mole or remove it completely. The biopsy can help the doctor to detect melanoma or other forms of skin cancer. If the biopsy is benign, you won't need to treat it. But if it is cancerous, the dermatologist will discuss the best treatment options for your needs.