Are moles dangerous? In and of themselves, moles are not dangerous. A mole is just an area of skin with extra pigment. The pigment gathers in a rounded shape, which is sometimes raised, and this is the mole. Some moles have hair growing from them, and this doesn’t make them dangerous either! People of all skin colours can have them on their skin and new moles can grow at any time in your life. It is normal that they grow, especially in the first three decades of your life. So, moles are not necessarily dangerous, they can be cute and unique parts of the way you look (think of those coveted beauty spots for example!).
However, certain changes in a mole can indicate that the mole is becoming a melanoma, and this is dangerous. So, it is important to check your skin regularly for changes.
What kind of moles are dangerous?
Moles with ragged edges, asymmetrical borders, many mottled colours and large diameters (larger than a pencil eraser is usually the rule of thumb here) should be checked out by a doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible. This is because these are distinctive signs of melanoma. You might notice these changes in an existing mole that you have had for years, or a new one exhibiting these characteristics may grow. Exposure to the sun without adequate protection (like clothing or sunscreen) and exposure to tanning beds are the most common factors causing melanoma.
Keep yourself safe: check the moles on your skin regularly
When it is caught early, melanoma can be cured just by excising the offending mole under local anaesthetic: a quick and painless process. So it is important to check your moles regularly to see if they are exhibiting any changes. Using an app can help you to do this! Be reassured that most moles are benign, but if a mole is changing, it is crucial to get it checked by a doctor right away to be sure.