Moles are basically several melanocytes occurring on the same spot on the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that give the skin its color. When they occur on a single spot in greater numbers, the spot acquires a deeper pigmentation than the rest of the skin. Moles are also referred to as melanocytic nevi.
In most cases, they appear as brown, dark, pink, red or just take on the skin color. Some are flat while others are raised, and some have a strand or two of hair growing from inside them. Their borders/edges are smooth, and can be round or oval.
By the age of 20 years, a person can have as many as 20 moles. Some will fade or completely disappear while others will increase in size or change color. They can be present at birth or develop later in life.
While most moles are benign, some may develop into melanoma cancer, the deadliest of all skin cancers. It is for this reason that you should keep checking for any noticeably rapid changes.
Types of moles in people
Here are the most common types of moles in people:
Junctional melanocytic nevi
Most of them appear in early stages of development. You can identify them by looking for flat and round skin lesions that may be black or brown in color. Rarely will they have multiple colors.
The first look at dysplastic nevi may make you take them for melanoma cells. This is because of their irregular edges and large sizes.
Dermal melanocytic nevi
If you have a mole with a hair strand coming out of it, it is most likely a dermal melanocytic nevus. They tend to take the color of the skin but can also be brown.
These ones are flat tan spots that are caused by exposure to UV sun rays. As melanocytes spread in response to sun rays, some converge on small spots and produce freckles (not typical moles).
Moles occurring in later stages of life are likely to be Seborrheic Keratoses. They are not cancerous and in fact are not typical moles. In most cases, they appear in tan, yellowish, brown or dark coloration.
Red mole on skin; pictures and images
A red mole on the skin is likely going to be a cherry angioma. While the exact cause is not known, cherry angiomas are not cancerous, as long as they are not bleeding or rapidly changing shape and size.
In pictures and images, you will find them show as raised red bumps that are usually larger at the bottom than on the top part. People past 30 years of age are more likely to experience a red mole on the skin.
If a red mole on the skin is causing concerns, you can have it checked by a doctor. This is especially a good idea when they occur in large numbers (which they do in older people). Even though they are likely not harmful, you still can have them removed through laser, cryosurgery, cauterization or excision.
You can also use over the counter products to remove the moles. For example, a potent skin tag removal cream can also work in the case of moles. Such products contain an acid known as salicylic acid. As you may suspect, the acid works by corroding the moles and getting rid of them completely.
Cancerous black mole; what it looks like
To check your moles for cancerous signs, the best way is to get detailed information on what to look for and the process to follow. Other than online information, you can also check out full video illustrations for the process and what you will need.
A black mole, white mole or even a blue one can all be cancerous deepening on other symptoms that they may be showing. To run a self-diagnosis, here is the process to follow:
- Get a full mirror and a camera
- Immediately after having a shower, stand in front of the mirror to examine the appearance, position, size and shape of your moles
- It is advisable that you also take pictures and images which you can use later for comparison
The ABCDE system can help you identify a cancerous black mole:
- A – Asymmetry in a mole’s appearance is suspect, since both halves should resemble each other
- B – Borders or edges should be defined and smooth
- C – color should not keeping changing over a short period of time or be in multiple color shades
- D – diameter, in that normal moles should not dwarf a pencil eraser
- E – evolving, in that a mole should stay in the same state of color size and shape for significantly long enough
If a black mole or any other types of moles appear past the age of 20 years, and if they are painful, itchy and bleed, get medical help. These are characteristics of cancerous nevi. You also should be familiar with symptoms of STDs such as signs of herpes. This is to avoid confusion in the event of different types of skin bumps that are likely to occur in people.
Images and pictures for a white mole:
A white mole is formed when the immune system attacks an existing mole. They are not harmful as long as they are not changing in color or size.
A white mole can form in two ways. It can, for instance, occur randomly on the skin or appear where another mole used to be.
As it happens, the body can ‘see’ a mole as a foreign intruder that needs to be eradicated. In the attempts to fight it off, the mole may end up losing its pigmentation, thus appearing as a white mole.
Teenagers around 16 years of age are most susceptible to this type of mole. Since you may need to take and keep pictures to help you in future self-diagnoses, you may be required to have more than one full mirror. This is because white moles tend to occur more on the back which might make it hard to see and identify them. In fact, you may have them without your knowledge.
White moles can also be found on the scalp, head and face but this is not common. A white mole on the scalp can be confused with ringworm on scalp. However, ringworm will form a patch rather than a raised small bump.
Is a blue mole normal in people?
Just like a skin tag on the eyelid, a blue mole on the skin might get you worried especially by its odd coloration. However, it is common for people to have blue moles.
A blue mole usually occurs singly. They prefer the head, hands, feet and the neck. It is thought that blue moles are genetically connected. This is because they tend to appear more in women of Asian origin.
Just like other types of nevi that we have discussed above, a blue mole should only make you worried if it changes rapidly in terms of size, color and shape. It also should not bleed or itch.
How to treat skin-colored moles
When it comes to how to treat skin-colored moles, the available methods are similar regardless of which type of mole you are aiming to treat.
Skin-colored moles and moles in general can be treated at home with home remedies but more effectively in a clinic. In a clinic, a doctor may use surgical operations or laser therapies to get rid of the mole. Most of the methods used to remove moles in a clinic will leave a scar.
At home, you can use remedies such as tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. In fact, home remedies are very widely used for skin conditions. You may probably have discovered using apple cider vinegar for skin tags removal. Just like salicylic acid, this solution works by corroding the moles layer by layer.