Skip to main content

Are All New Moles in Adulthood Cancerous?

Most moles that you have on your body are totally harmless, or benign. But when they start to change shape, size, or color over time, these may be signs of life-threatening skin cancer.

Abnormal moles can be worrisome, but simply reaching out to a dermatologist can help put your mind at ease. And regular skin checks help lower the risk of any skin cancer that does develop. 

Our team of experienced dermatologists at Manhattan Dermatology understands the fear and stress when you discover atypical moles. That’s why we provide services to screen, diagnose, and manage moles for our patients at our offices in Murray Hill and Midtown East in New York City. 

Keep reading to learn more about moles, what’s normal, what isn’t, and signs to look out for.

Normal moles

Moles are spots of pigmented skin on your body, usually dark brown ovals or spots, though the color may vary. These pigmented clusters of cells are very common; most adults have 10-40 moles. Shapes and sizes of moles vary, and they might be flat, wrinkled, smooth, or raised. 

Generally, moles are very small, less than one-quarter of an inch in diameter. Moles may develop at any time in your life, but they usually appear in childhood or early adulthood.

Moles can appear anywhere on your body, and their appearance can change as you age, or even fade. Most moles are harmless, but it’s good practice to keep an eye on changing moles, as they could be a sign of skin cancer.

Dangerous moles

Though prominent or protruding moles may affect your appearance and you may be irritated by raised moles, most moles aren’t dangerous. Recognizing the moles on your body is the first step to being aware of changes, especially new, fast-growing moles. 

If you have a mole that developed suddenly, is changing quickly, or is painful to touch, bleeds, is tender, or is itchy, it might be a sign of something dangerous. Schedule an exam with us to have the mole checked. 

Moles that are abnormal are one of the first signs of melanoma. Melanoma is a fast-growing form of skin cancer that can be deadly. But fortunately, it’s typically easy to treat when spotted early on. 

Knowing what to look for when analyzing your moles can help you keep an eye out for melanoma. Use the ABCDEs of atypical moles to look out for these signs: 

Scheduling routine skin cancer screenings with us at Manhattan Dermatology is the No. 1 way to spot dangerous moles as soon as possible. We can evaluate your moles and remove them if needed at any time, even if you’ve come in for a different service. 

If you have any questions about your moles, don’t wait to set up a consultation with one of our providers. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online with either our Murray Hill or Midtown East office in Manhattan, New York City.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Do I Know If My Mole Should Be Removed?

Are you wondering when a mole might need medical attention? If you have a mole that’s causing concern, discomfort, or simply making you self-conscious, keep reading for advice on when it’s time to consult with a skin expert.
Can I Get Botox® and Fillers at the Same Time?

Can I Get Botox® and Fillers at the Same Time?

Combining aesthetic treatments can enhance your results, and what better combination than Botox® and facial fillers? These noninvasive treatments work wonders on their own, and together they’re incredible. Take a moment to find out more.
My Acne Is Embarrassing: Can You Help?

My Acne Is Embarrassing: Can You Help?

Acne can be frustrating, and when it’s in visible places on your skin, it’s even embarrassing. Luckily, we know the best therapies for clearing acne, so take a moment to learn more about acne and how we treat it.

What Makes Fraxel® Laser Treatments Unique?

Overwhelmed by the number of aesthetic laser treatments available? Take a moment to learn why the Fraxel® Dual Laser System is unique and the reasons it might be the right therapy for your skin needs.
5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Botox® Treatments

5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Botox® Treatments

Botox® is one of the most popular noninvasive treatments for reversing the signs of aging. But did you know you can get even more out of your treatments? Here are our top tips for getting the most out of your Botox injections.

Does Psoriasis Run in Families?

If someone in your family has psoriasis, you might be wondering if this skin condition could also affect you. Keep reading to learn about the causes of psoriasis and how we can help if you or someone you love gets diagnosed.