MOLES

WHAT ARE THEY?

Moles (also called nevi) are common growths on the skin that are usually brown or black which result from the over-production and cluster of melanocytes and skin pigment, better known as melanin.

Moles can be flat or raised and can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Flat moles are called junctional nevi and raised moles are called compound nevi. People who have moles may notice that they darken during pregnancy or after sun exposure. These growths, however, tend to fade away with older age.

A ‘halo nevus’ is a condition which occurs when the skin surrounding a mole loses its pigmentation or color. This is benign and usually the central mole, along with the white ring, will disappear with time. Halo nevi are most common in children and teenagers.

CAN THEY BE TREATED?

Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment. However, moles should be frequently checked to ensure they do not exhibit any skin-cancer warning signs. When moles are surgically removed, they normally do not return.

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