Moles (nevi) are a common type of skin growth which have a high concentration of melanin. They often appear as small, deep brown spots and are caused by clusters of pigment-forming cells (melanocytes). Most people have 10 to 40 moles that appear during childhood and adolescence and may change in appearance or fade over time.
Moles usually are harmless to the body, but in some rare cases, they become cancerous. Being aware of changes in your moles and other pigmented patches is important to detect skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.
A new mole appears when melanocytes; the pigment producing cells in a person's skin, proliferate, or duplicate, producing the characteristic moles they see on the surface. Melanocytes hold a pigment that gives moles their distinctive colouring. Moles can be benign or cancerous.
Symptoms: The typical mole is a small brown spot. But moles come in distinct colours, shapes and sizes:
- Colour and Texture: Moles can be brown, tan, black, blue, red or pink. They can be smooth, wrinkled, flat or raised. They may have hair growing from them.
- Shape: Most moles are oval or round.
- Size: Moles are usually less than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimetres) in diameter — the size of a pencil eraser. Those present at birth (congenital nevi) can be bigger than usual, covering part(s) of the face, torso or limb(s).
Moles can develop anywhere on your body, including your scalp, armpits, under your nails, and between your fingers and toes. With hormonal changes in adolescence and pregnancy, they may become darker and larger.
Is it normal to develop new moles?
You develop moles all through the course of your life. The largest number of moles usually form during childhood and up through early adulthood, but you can develop new moles throughout your entire life — especially if you have excessive ultraviolet exposure.
Are Newly Formed Moles Cancerous?
Development of moles are natural, especially when one goes through severe hormonal changes or is exposed to Ultraviolet (UV) Rays very often. Although some newly formed moles can be cancerous, most of them are not. Moles that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, have uneven colours, are larger than 06 millimetres, or have evolved in size, shape or colour over the past few months or weeks, can be a Cancerous mole. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin with a colour that is uneven, i.e.; Shades of black, brown, and tan. Spots of White, Gray, Red, Pink, or Blue may also be seen in a mole if the mole is cancerous.
Apart from these symptoms, one is at risk of skin cancer if they have more than 50 moles on their body. These moles may or may not have the cancerous symptoms mentioned above.
Have you been developing new moles? Are you unsure if they’re cancerous or not? Get your moles checked today to detect any dangerous symptoms of any of your newly generated body moles.