Moles are very common skin lesions that are typically brown or black in appearance. They are small growths on the skin that can grow alone, or in clusters. Most moles develop during childhood, though they can continue to develop over 25 years.

What causes moles?

The average person is said to have anywhere from ten and 40 moles. They develop when skin cells grow in clusters, rather than throughout the skin. Known as melanocyte cells, they are responsible for giving the skin its pigmentation. In some cases, moles can also develop due to melanoma.

When should I get a mole checked?

Most of the time, moles are harmless. However, they can also be a warning sign of cancer. Therefore, it is important to look out for any changes that may occur in the mole. If you notice it changes colour, size, or shape, it is important to get it checked out by a doctor.

Although most moles are harmless, they can be a source of discomfort or embarrassment and you may wish to have them removed if they are in a highly visible position.

ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES: Surgical mole removal