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Sun exposure may darken or increase the number of moles. A large number of moles or atypical moles are an inherited trait in some families.
Moles are found anywhere on the skin and occur in various sizes and shapes. They are usually brown, but can also be skin colored. The brown pigment in moles is caused by melanocytes, special cells that produce the pigment melanin. At first, a mole can be flat and tan like a freckle, however over time, moles usually enlarge and may develop hairs.
Recognizing the early warning signs for changing moles: ABCD’s
A Asymmetry: One half does not match the other half.
B Border: The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred or irregular.
C Color: The color of the mole is not the same throughout.
D Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm, the size of a pencil eraser, melanoma can be smaller.
When a mole is atypical or showing signs of the ABCDs (see above), a biopsy is recommended.The most common treatment methods are numbing and shaving the mole off, or excising the mole and then closing it with stitches.