Moles, known medically as nevi, are clusters of pigmented cells that often appear as small, dark brown spots. However, moles can come in a range of colors and can develop virtually anywhere on your body.
Most moles are harmless, but in rare cases, moles may become cancerous. Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in detecting skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma. Not all melanomas develop from pre-existing moles, however. Some moles may begin as a new growth on the skin.
Dec. 06, 2011
- Moles. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_moles.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Moles. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/dermatologic_disorders/benign_skin_tumors/moles.htmlnatlcan. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- What you need to know about moles and dysplastic nevi. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/moles-and-dysplastic-nevi/allpages/print. Accessed Sept. 13,2011.
- Nevi and malignant melanoma. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010.http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Moles in children: What parents should know. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/moles_children.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Clarke LE. Dysplastic nevi. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2011;31:255.
- Step-by-step self-examination. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/step-by-step-self-examination/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Prevention guidelines. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention-guidelines/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.