Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Skin Moles Overview

What are skin moles?
A person with a skin mole has a dark spot in the skin caused by increased pigment in the skin cells. The cause for skin moles is unknown. A special kind of skin cell produces melanin, which is a pigment that provides the brown color. It also the pigment that is responsible for freckles. Everyone has skin moles, although skin moles are most common in light-skinned people.

What are the symptoms of skin moles?
Skin moles rarely cause symptoms. A normal skin mole is tan, brown, or black, round, and less than 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter. One side of the mole has the same shape as the other.

How does the doctor treat skin moles?
A skin mole does not require treatment, unless there is a change in shape, color or size. These changes may warrant a malignant melanoma evaluation. Cosmetic treatment for a large skin mole may include surgery to shave, or remove the mole from the skin surface.

Continue to Skin Moles Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Moles References
  1. Muhn CY, From L, Glied M. Detection of artificial changes in mole size by skin self-examination. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 May;42(5 Pt 1):754-9. [10775850]
  2. Seidenari S, Pellacani G, Grana C. Colors in atypical nevi: a computer description reproducing clinical assessment. Skin Res Technol. 2005 Feb;11(1):36-41. [15691257]
  3. Tilliss TS. Examination of skin moles. Am J Dent. 1997 Aug;10(4):164-5. [9590901]
  4. Weinstock MA, Nguyen FQ, Martin RA. Enhancing skin self-examination with imaging: evaluation of a mole-mapping program. J Cutan Med Surg. 2004 Jan-Feb;8(1):1-5. [15688095]
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