Moles are some pretty unique and identifying features on a body. They’re simply clusters of skin cells that are usually black or brown. Some people don’t mind them at all while others just wish that they would go away. Regardless of which side of the coin you’re on, if you have any moles, you’ve likely wondered about them. They come in a myriad of shapes and sizes and sometimes they can be indicative of a deeper health issue–although the larger majority of moles are no cause for concern. Here is a brief look into the world of moles, the different types of moles and how you can identify them on yourself or others.

1. Congenital Moles

Congenital moles are moles that individuals are born with. Believe it or not, congenital moles are an extremely common anomaly. In fact, one person out of 100 has at least one of these moles. These moles can be fairly big or they can be the diameter of a fine tipped marker. Whether you find these moles a nuisance or not, it should be noted that larger congenital moles have a higher risk of melanoma, so please consider mole removal Utah if you are concerned about developing skin cancer.

2. Dysplastic Moles

Dysplastic moles (or nevi) are considered to be abnormal in some way. This means that it’s larger than normal size, has uneven coloration, lacks uniform edges and has uneven edges. These types of moles aren’t always trouble, but they do not fit neatly in the safe mole categorization. Due to their abnormal nature, dermatologists monitor these moles closely as they are more likely to develop melanoma.

3. Acquired Moles

Moles that develop after birth are considered to be acquired moles. They aren’t usually any cause for concern, as most people will develop a mole or two well after they are born. And acquired moles are not an immediate indicator of cancer. They can range in color from black to brown to red to pink. They can be flat or raised, and they will definitely vary in size. A large number of these nevi may put someone at an increased risk for skin cancer, but this is something that should be addressed with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about moles becoming cancerous.

4. Spitz Moles

A spitz mole and a cancerous mole can be difficult to tell apart without a proper biopsy. Typically a spitz mole is raised, pink and dome shaped. They sometimes have varying colors that will change or there will be multiple colors within the mole itself. If you notice one of these moles and it is bleeding or leaking pus, please contact your physician.

Now that you know a little bit more about the types of moles, you can get a little more familiar with the ones you have and show them some love. And even if you’re still not a fan of your moles, hopefully you have a better understanding of them and why it’s important to be able to identify potentially troublesome ones.