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Moles

Also called: Nevus

Summary

Moles are growths on the skin. They happen when pigment cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters. Moles are very common. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. A person may develop new moles from time to time, usually until about age 40. In older people, they tend to fade away.

Moles are usually pink, tan or brown. They can be flat or raised. They are usually round or oval and no larger than a pencil eraser.

About one out of every ten people has at least one unusual (or atypical) mole that looks different from an ordinary mole. They are called dysplastic nevi. They may be more likely than ordinary moles to develop into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. You should have a health care professional check your moles if they look unusual, grow larger, change in color or outline, or in any other way.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (American Academy of Dermatology) - PDF

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Nevus Outreach, Inc.)
  • (Nevus Outreach, Inc.)

Living With

  • (Nevus Outreach, Inc.)

Related Issues

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Specifics

  • (American Osteopathic College of Dermatology)
  • (Nevus Outreach, Inc.)

Images

  • (Logical Images)
  • (Logical Images)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American Society for Dermatologic Surgery)
  • (American Academy of Dermatology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in

Children

  • (Logical Images)

Patient Handouts

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