Q:

Where do skin moles come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Moles form when skin cells called melanocytes cluster together and are exposed to sunlight, according to How Stuff Works. This sun exposure causes moles to become darker in color, which makes them more noticeable. A natural skin pigmentation called melanin gives moles their unique color.

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Where do skin moles come from?
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Full Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, people can develop anywhere from 10 to 40 moles somewhere on the body during a lifetime. Moles can begin forming in childhood and continue to appear well into middle age. As people age, new moles can form while others completely disappear. The growths are typically round or oval in shape. They come in a variety of colors including brown, tan, pink, blue, red or flesh-colored.

Some moles are easy to spot while others are hidden in discreet places. A mole can grow anywhere on the body including the face, neck, arms, chest, hands and even the scalp. The vast majority of moles are perfectly harmless, although, they may change in shape, color and texture over time.

People that have dysplastic nevi or more than fifty moles are at a greater risk for developing skin cancer, according to Web MD. Cancer forms when abnormal melanoma develops within the mole, and malignant cells replace the normal skin cells. Cancerous moles change in appearance and may bleed, become itchy or painful. Moles that are suspect should be looked at by a dermatologist.

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    If someone continues to develop skin tags repetitively in the same spot after removal, he is simply more prone to forming them than others, or the skin is rubbing too often. Skin tags often appear in places where the skin rubs excessively, such as the groin, according to MedicineNet.com.

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    How do moles form?

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    Moles form when skin cells known as melanocytes begin to grow in a cluster instead of spreading out evenly like normal. Melanocytes contain melanin, which is what gives skin its pigment, and it is the excess melanin in these melanocyte clusters that give a mole its characteristic dark color.

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    Can moles be cut off?

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    Some types of moles can be cut off by a doctor, but moles should never be cut off at home, according to WebMD. A doctor uses surgical scissors or a scalpel to cut off and shave a mole so that it is flush with the skin. However, because some moles have cells that are found below the surface of the skin, a deeper cut is sometimes necessary to prevent the mole from recurring, and the patient may need stitches afterward.

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    What causes moles?

    A:

    According to WebMD and Mayo Clinic, clusters of skin cells called melanocytes cause moles. Normally, these skin cells are spread evenly. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its ordinary color. Sun exposure and pregnancy are some events that may cause moles to get darker.

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