Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

How To Recognize A Potentially Dangerous Mole

At their core, moles aren't a scary thing, as they are typically small, harmless growths on the skin. However, in a few rare cases, a mole can be quite dangerous, as it can be a sign of a cancer known as melanoma. If you have moles on your body, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the signs of a dangerous mole.

Changing Moles

Once a mole is formed on the skin, it pretty much stays the same. If you have a mole that has experienced a change in color, surface texture, height or shape, this should be cause for concern. A brown mole that turns tan or a smooth mole that develops a ragged or rigid overlay are just two examples that warrant a closer look. While this doesn't mean you have cancer, this does mean that you need to have it examined.

Growth After 35

Even if the mole appears harmless, the development of a new mole after the age of 35 is something you want to focus on. For the average person, mole growth comes to a head some time in the second or third decade of life. If you are developing a mole after this age, this could be an indication of an abnormal growth or the early development of melanoma. Regardless of the exact cause, it's important to have this mole checked out.

Blurred Borders

While not completely symmetric, moles typically have a well-defined border. A mole that doesn't could be an issue, as cancer-containing moles are typically marked by irregular edges. If necessary, using a magnifying glass, exam the perimeter of the mole and look for blurred lines around its circumference. In addition to having a different look, dangerous moles can also have a border that feels different from the inside of the mole.


Most people that have moles are completely unaware of them because they don't feel them, which is normal. If the mole hasn't experienced any trauma and is causing you any level of discomfort, even if not painful, it could be that the mole contains cancerous cells. Additionally, even if the mole isn't producing discomfort but is secreting blood or any other type of fluid, have it examined.

Dangerous moles can often be removed from the skin quickly with prompt recognition, increasing your chance of good health. Keep an eye on the moles on your body so that you can speak with your physician quickly in the event of an issue.

For more information, contact Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists or a similar organization.