In the quest for clear smooth skin you will face many challenges. One of the common ones is the appearance of brown, pink, or black moles on skin. These are common skin growths that can cause feelings of frustration and angst for people who are trying to obtain photo-ready complexions. Here is what you need to know about the different types of moles, what causes them, and what you can do about these unwanted growths.
What are Skin Moles?
Moles are skin growths that develop when skin cells grow in a cluster. Usually skin cells spread out, but sometimes there is a miscommunication and they grow all in one place. Also called nevi, most people will have anywhere from 10 to 40 moles on various parts of their bodies by the time they reach adulthood.
Usually nevi are brown or black and begin as flat tan freckles. However, they can grow and change color over time due to sun exposure, pregnancy, or during the teen years and become raised and dark. Sometimes, moles will even fall off without intervention. This is all perfectly natural during a mole’s life cycle which can last up to 50 years.
Most of the time, moles are benign. However, they can also be indicators of cancerous growths under the skin. Moles that change in color and size should be checked by a qualified dermatologist for cancerous qualities.
Types of Skin Moles
There are five types of skin moles.
- Congenital Nevi
Congenital moles appear at birth. They occur on approximately 1 out of every 100 babies. These moles can be small (less than 1.5 cm) or giant (over 20 cm). They may be round or oval and are uneven in color. Moles that appear on the baby’s head, neck, or spine should be carefully evaluated as the child may be at increased risk of having melanoma or seizures.
- Common Acquired Nevi
Light-skinned people, children, and adolescents are more likely to get this type of mole. They can appear anywhere on the body and are typically caused by sun exposure. Like other types of moles, common acquired nevi can change shape and color over time. Additionally, they can become cancerous, so be sure to have any checked out that change.
- Dysplastic Nevi
Also called atypical moles, dysplastic nevi may grow alone or in groups. They are usually small, only 1 cm in diameter and are brown or varying shades of tan. They develop during puberty and like to grow on the back, chest, scalp, and buttocks. People that havep this type of mole have a higher risk of developing melanoma. Therefore, it is important to have dysplastic nevi checked at least once per year even if there are no visible changes to the mole.
- Halo Nevi
Halo nevi form on top of lesions. When they form on the skin, a halo of white dipigmented skin surrounds it. The cause of these types of moles is unknown, but adolescents have the highest risk of getting them. They are commonly found on the back but can appear anywhere. Typically, these growths are benign and disappear over time.
- Spitz Nevi
These are smooth moles about 6 to 8 cm in diameter that are caused by melanocytes which are pigment cells. Also called spindle cell moles, they develop on the head and face of kids and teens between the ages of 3 and 13. These moles are benign and doctors won’t usually remove them unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
How to Get Rid of a Mole on Your Skin
The most common ways moles are removed are by surgical excision and cauterization. During surgery, the doctor cuts the mole away and seals the wound with stitches. Cauterization involves burning the mole away using specially-designed tools. In some cases, the doctor may use a laser to remove the growth. All of these methods can cause scarring which can be devastating when it comes to facial moles.
Another option is to use a topical product designed to shrink and eliminate moles naturally. There are a number of products that will do the job without causing side effects such as red irritated skin. To learn about a few of the best mole removal products available, go to the homepage to read our comprehensive reviews of the top products on the market.