Moles are caused by an accumulation of a brown dye in your skin. They can take on various shapes and sizes. For example, they can be flat, bumpy, round or oval. They are also characterised by an uninterrupted shape and colour. Most moles appear between the 3rd and 20th year of life. This will depend on how much your skin has been exposed to the sun. Heredity also plays a role in the development of moles. Moles can look like freckles and age spots. Yet they differ from each other. Freckles are small light brown flat spots and age spots are flat, brown, continuous spots. These latter spots are often on the forearms, on the face, on the backs of the hands and on the lower legs.
Moles are harmless and generally don’t cause any symptoms. You can end up with quite a lot of them, but otherwise not be bothered by them. However, in some cases an abnormal mole can develop, which can be a sign of skin cancer.
Moles don’t disappear and there are no ointments and remedies for them. However, you can make sure you have less chance of a malignant mole. You can do this by:
- Not sunbathing too much.
- Preventing sunburns. Applying sunscreen of factor 30 or higher to your skin.
- Avoiding sunbeds or not lying under these too often.
- Regularly checking your moles and skin. Especially if you’re a bit older and have discovered new moles.
Contact your GP if:
- The mole doesn’t have a continuous colour or shape. For example, the colour of the mole may differ and the shape may not be clearly defined. You should contact your GP immediately if the mole contains colours like blue, red, white or black.
- The mole is 6 millimetres or larger.
- The mole suddenly changed in shape, thickness, size and colour.
- You have an itchy mole.
- You have a mole which bleeds.
- Sores and scabs appear on your mole.