Moles, also called nevi, are a common skin condition that can occur at any time in a person’s life. While some people are born with moles, others may develop them later in life. But can moles appear later in life? The answer is yes. In fact, it is quite common for moles to develop during adulthood.
The specialists at The Vascular Birthmark Center, located in New York and Los Angeles, are some of the foremost authorities in the world on all types of birthmarks, including moles. Learn more about moles and when you should be concerned about them.
What Are Moles?
Moles are small, dark spots on the skin that are usually harmless. They are caused by the growth of melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment in the skin. Most people have at least a few moles on their body, which can vary in size and shape. Some moles may be raised and bumpy, while others may be flat and smooth.
Why Do Moles Appear Later in Life?
There are several reasons why moles may appear later in life. One common cause is exposure to the sun. Sun exposure can cause new moles to grow or enlarge existing moles. Other factors that can contribute to the development of moles include genetics, hormonal changes and certain medical conditions.
When Should You Be Concerned About Moles?
While most moles are harmless, some may indicate skin cancer. It is important to monitor your moles and watch for any changes. If a mole changes in size, shape or color, or if it becomes itchy, painful or bleeds, you should see a dermatologist or birthmark care specialist. These could be signs of melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer that can be deadly if not treated early.
Use the ABCDE method for checking any moles you notice on your skin:
- A is for asymmetrical shape. One half is unlike the other half.
- B is for the border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders.
- C is for color. Look for growths that have changed color, have many colors or have uneven color.
- D is for diameter. Look for new growth in a mole larger than 1/4 inch.
- E is for evolving. Watch for moles that change in size, shape, color or height.
How Can You Prevent Moles?
While it is not always possible to prevent the development of moles, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk. One of the most important things you can do is to protect your skin from the sun. This means wearing sunscreen with at least SPF 30, seeking shade during peak sun hours and wearing protective clothing like hats and long sleeves.
Professional Nevus Removal
Moles are a common skin condition that can appear anytime in a person’s life. While most moles are harmless, monitoring them and watching for any changes is important. If you have concerns about a mole, contact The Vascular Birthmark Center for more information or to schedule an exam and consultation.
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