Mole (Nevus)

Moles are colored spots on the skin. The are usually harmless, however, in some people, a mole can become a malignant mole called dysplastic nevus (plural nevi).

Symptoms of Regular and Malignant Moles

The symptoms of regular moles are:

  • Round or symmetrical in shape, with a sharply defined border
  • Flesh tones, deep brown or black in color
  • Flat or raised in profile
  • May increase in size as the person ages
  • Usually remains the same number by young adulthood

The symptoms of malignant moles are:

  • Irregular in shape, with hazy borders
  • Mottled colors
  • Large in size
  • Increase in numbers as the person ages
What are the warning signs that a regular mole is turning into a malignant one?

Congenital nevi or moles that you are born with, are more prone to becoming a deadly skin cancer called melanoma. However, all moles have the potential of becoming malignant.

You should check your moles every month for the following warning signs:

  • Asymmetrical shape
  • Border becoming hazy or irregular
  • Color becoming mottled or irregular
  • Diameter becoming larger than a pencil eraser

Your doctor will perform a biospy on moles with any of the "ABCD" warning signs above.

How Can Moles Be Removed?

In most people, moles remain harmless throughout life - however, people who do not like their appearance may get moles removed in a cosmetic procedure called shave excision.

Moles that turn into malignant cancer need to be surgically removed.

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