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Moles (nevi)

What are moles?
Moles are usually harmless changes in your skin. They are known medically as melanocytic nevi and develop as a result of the proliferation of pigment cells called melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its color).

How can moles be seen?

Moles can be flat or raised. Their color can vary from pink to brown to black. The number of moles varies genetically and depending on the degree of sun exposure.

When do moles form and how do they develop?

While moles may be present at birth, they usually develop in childhood. In the early stage, the nevus cells are between the upper layer of the skin (epidermis) and the middle part of the skin (dermis). These nevi are called Junctional nevi. These moles are flat and colorful. As moles develop, the nevus cells spread into the dermis (compound nevus) or are found only in the dermis (dermal nevus). These moles are thickened and often raised from the skin surface. Non-colored dermal nevi are called cellular nevi. Some nevi are very dark blue in color and are called blue nevi. Moles darken after sun exposure and during pregnancy. They lose their color in adulthood and may disappear completely in old age.

What are the types of me?

congenital pigmented nevus

A mole that is present at birth is called a congenital pigmented nevus. These moles are seen in 1% of babies. They can range in size from a few millimeters to cover very large areas of the body. Especially very large ones have the possibility of developing into a skin cancer called melanoma.

halo nevus

Some moles are surrounded by a white ring. These types of moles appear in childhood and adolescence. They do not cause any harm and over time, the mole and white ring in the middle disappear. Sometimes discoloration can also be seen in skin cancer called melanoma, if in doubt a biopsy may be required.


Freckles are small light brown flat patches of skin and are usually seen in light-colored people. They are usually found in areas exposed to the sun and their color darkens during the summer months.

unusual moles

Unusual moles are known as Clark Nevus (Atypical nevus). These moles appear abnormal. They are large in size with irregular margins, often resembling a skin cancer called melanoma, but mostly benign. They can be surgically removed, although not necessary due to their anxiety-inducing appearance. People with unusual moles are at risk of developing melanoma, especially if there is a skin cancer called melanoma in their family.

What can changes in moles indicate?

Melanoma is cancer that arises from the pigment (dye) cells of the skin. If a mole changes in size, shape or color, or if a new mole appears in adulthood, it should be examined by a dermatologist. Dermatologists can enlarge the image of moles with a method called dermatoscopy, and they can also take a biopsy if necessary.

How are moles treated?

Although most moles are harmless and do not need to be removed, the following conditions should be treated.

If there is a possibility of cancer: If the structure of a mole is irregular, spreading towards the environment and changing its color, it should be treated. If a mole is in places where clothes, comb and razor blades can damage it, it should be removed.
cosmetic reasons
What methods are moles treated?

1. Shaving biopsy

A raised mole on the skin can be easily treated with this method. After the skin is numbed with local anesthesia, it is removed with a surgical blade or cautery. The wound heals leaving a solid white patch.

2. Surgical removal of the mole

This method is used if the mole is flat or if there is a suspicion of skin cancer, which we call melanoma. The mole on the skin is removed with its full thickness and then sutured. The removed mole is sent for pathological examination. There may be a scar in the form of a thin line at the surgical site.

The hairs on the moles can be shaved. Removing it with tweezers can cause inflammation under the mole, causing painful swelling.

How should the skin be examined?

-Do your personal skin examination once a month: If you see a change in your moles or if you notice a new mole appearing, consult a dermatologist.
– If you have multiple moles, atypical moles, previous skin cancer or if your doctor recommends it, get examined regularly.
– If there are many moles and unusual moles, it may be useful to record with photographs. By taking photos of moles with a method called dermatoscopy, changes in moles that may be heralds of melanoma can be easily detected.
How to protect yourself from skin cancer?
Sun protection is very important.
– Long-sleeved shirts, long pants and skirts, hats must be worn.
Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen with a protection factor of 30 or higher on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun.