A mole is one of the most common growths on the skin and can occur anywhere on the body. It is always a good idea to monitor any changes in a mole, or the appearance of a new mole, and bring them to the attention of one of our trusted dermatologists.

The dermatologists and skin experts at Dermatology of Athens treat moles by carefully examining them to assess any signs of irregularity or changes. During your skin check, they will provide you with guidance on sun protection to prevent new moles from developing. Learn more about moles below and schedule your skin check with one of our providers today.

What are the Symptoms of Moles?

  • Moles can be either raised or flat.
  • The surface of the mole can be smooth or wrinkled and some may contain hair.
  • Though generally brown or flesh-colored, moles may also appear tan, black, red or blue.
  • As the body ages, moles may lighten in color, flat moles may become raised, and some moles may disappear.

Causes of Moles

  • Genetics (Family History): Our genetic code significantly influences mole development. 
  • Sun Exposure: Spending time under the sun contributes to the appearance of moles. 
  • Hormonal Changes: Life events like pregnancy, marked by hormonal fluctuations, can influence the number of moles.
  • Age: As we age, our skin accumulates more moles.

How to Prevent Moles

Preventing the formation of moles involves adopting simple yet effective habits that prioritize your skin health. Here are some key practices to keep your skin in tip-top shape:
  • Sun Protection: Shielding your skin from excessive sun exposure is crucial. Make sunscreen with at least SPF 30 a daily habit, even on cloudy days. Wear protective clothing, like hats and long sleeves, and seek shade during peak sunlight hours.
  • Avoid Tanning Beds: Artificial tanning methods, such as tanning beds, can contribute to the development of moles. Opt for sunless tanning lotions or sprays as a safer alternative if you desire a sun-kissed glow.
  • Regular Skin Checks: Keep an eye on your skin and monitor any changes in moles. If you notice alterations in size, shape, or color, or if new moles appear, consult one of our trusted skincare specialists promptly. Early detection can be crucial in preventing potential issues.
  • Avoid Hormonal Fluctuations: While some hormonal changes are natural and inevitable, minimizing exposure to unnecessary hormonal fluctuations, such as those caused by certain medications, can be beneficial.
Remember, while moles are often harmless, staying proactive in your skincare routine and adopting healthy habits can contribute to preventing their formation and ensuring healthy skin and confidence.

Moles FAQs

Keep an eye on moles for changes in size, shape, color, or if they become itchy or bleed. If you notice any changes, it's essential to have them checked by a dermatologist. Regular self-checks are crucial for early detection.

While most moles are harmless, changes in appearance can be a sign of skin cancer, such as melanoma. Regular skin checks by a dermatologist help catch any concerning changes early when treatment is most effective.

Sun protection is crucial for moles. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade to prevent sun damage. Moles are sensitive to UV rays, and sun safety helps maintain their health.

Not necessarily. It's common to develop new moles, especially in childhood and adolescence. However, if you notice rapid changes or have concerns, it's best to consult with a dermatologist for peace of mind.

Total Body Skin Exams Explained By Audrey Moxie, PA-C

How to Treat Moles

While it's generally not medically necessary to remove a benign mole, certain circumstances may require assistance from our dermatologists. Some moles can pose risks and are better off removed. For instance, moles that cause irritation due to constant friction with clothing or those with a significant cosmetic impact, especially when prominently placed on the face, neck, or other visible areas, might be candidates for removal.

Our team of dermatology providers can assess the mole's characteristics, considering factors such as size, shape, and color, to determine the most suitable course of action. Professional evaluation is especially vital when dealing with moles that exhibit irregularities or changes over time. Therefore, if you notice any changes in your moles or have specific cosmetic or discomfort-related concerns, consulting your dermatologist is a proactive step toward gaining healthy skin.