Are Moles Dangerous?

The good news is that most moles are totally harmless, or benign. The bad news is that moles can change over time. And these abnormal moles aren’t just a beauty blemish. They can be a sign of life-threatening cancer.  

At Manhattan Dermatology, our team of dermatologists screens, diagnoses, and manages moles for patients at our two Midtown East offices in New York City. We deal with problematic moles and the associated cancer risks quickly and effectively, working to ensure the health of you and your skin. 

Take a moment to learn more about moles and the signs of trouble. 

What do normal moles look like?

Moles are areas of pigmented skin and usually look like dark brown ovals or spots, though the color can vary. These clusters of pigmented cells are common, with most adults having 10-40 moles on their skin. 

Most moles are fairly small (less than a quarter of an inch across). While they can develop any time during your life, they usually appear in childhood or early adulthood. Moles come in all shapes and sizes and can be raised, flat, smooth, or wrinkled. 

These spots can exist anywhere on your body, can change appearance, and can even fade. While most moles are harmless, they can indicate certain skin cancers.      

When are moles dangerous?

Prominent moles may be aesthetically displeasing and raised moles might irritate you, but most moles aren’t dangerous. If you have a mole that appears quickly, transforms rapidly, bleeds, or is itchy, tender, or painful to the touch, it could be a sign of something more dangerous.   

Knowing what your normal moles look like and where they are on your body is the first step in identifying any problematic changes, including new, fast-growing moles. 

Abnormal moles are one of the hallmark signs of melanoma, a fast-growing form of skin cancer that can be deadly but is typically easy to treat when it’s spotted early.    

Since melanoma often first appears as a fast-changing or unusual-looking mole, it’s helpful to know what to look for when evaluating your moles. Using the alphabet and the ABCDEs of atypical moles, keep an eye out for these troublesome signs:

Routine skin cancer screenings with us at Manhattan Dermatology is the best way to catch problematic moles as early as possible. We can assess worrisome moles and remove them as needed at any time, even if you’re being seen for something other than a skin cancer screening.   

Don’t wait to contact us at Manhattan Dermatology if you have questions about your moles. Call our New York City offices in Murray Hill and Midtown East to schedule an appointment or book online now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

My Child Has Eczema. Now What?

It’s difficult to see your child struggle. And if they’re experiencing the irritated, itchy, red skin associated with eczema, figuring out how to help can be a challenge. Here’s a look at what you can do if your child has eczema.

Stop Popping Your Zits!

Blackheads, whiteheads, unsightly pustules — the temptation to pop your zits is real. But this habit can lead to issues with your acne and even cause permanent side effects. Here’s why you need to stop popping your zits.

Trendy Skin Care Hacks That Do More Harm Than Good

Considering a change in your skin care routine based on the latest social media craze? Trendy skin care hacks may be popular, but they aren’t always good for your skin. Our dermatologists give you the facts in this informative post.

Does Mohs Surgery Cause Scarring?

If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, Mohs surgery can remove the cancerous tissue while keeping as much healthy tissue as possible. But will it leave a scar? Keep reading to find out.

Understanding the Unique Benefits of Mohs Surgery

You have choices when it comes to treating skin cancer. Minimally invasive Mohs surgery offers the best treatment and prognosis for the future. Keep reading to learn about more of the benefits this treatment provides.

Can Mohs Surgery Cure Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The good news is it’s also the least common. Take a moment to learn how early detection and Mohs surgery can help you beat this aggressive disease.