Are beauty marks moles – Strategically placed on a woman’s cheek, they can be attractive. Some even paint them. They are called beauty marks, but not all moles are pretty.

Moles can be raised, very large or hairy, and appear anywhere on the body, singly or in groups. They are generally brown and can have different shapes and sizes. Moles are benign tumours resulting from the accumulation of cells called melanocytes that give skin its colour. They are also called nevi. Nevi are probably determined before a person is born. Most appear during the first 20 years of life, although others do not appear until old age.

types of moles

There are two types of moles:  congenital moles and acquired moles. Most babies are born without moles. Over time, small moles begin to appear. By the age of 20, most people have between 20 and 40 visible moles scattered all over their bodies. These are acquired moles and usually measure less than 0.5 cm.

Only a few babies, one in a hundred, are born with a mole, that is, with a congenital nevus. These moles can vary from 0.5 cm to covering almost the entire body, such as the giant congenital nevus. This type of mole is also called swimsuit nevus or garment nevus, depending on the area of ​​the body where it is located. Giant nevus measures more than 20 cm in diameter in an adult person.

In addition to size, nevi can vary in shape, surface texture, and amount of hair. Colour can range from light brown to almost black, with most being shades of brown. Some have fine, downy hair, while others have longer, denser, darker hair. Cutting or shaving this hair will not increase its growth. Some have permanent goosebumps due to a significant increase in a small muscle, the piloerector muscle. This little muscle makes the hair stand on end in the cold. Typically, a person does not produce sweat in the area of ​​​​the giant nevus; since the sweat glands are few or have not formed well, they usually sweat more in areas of healthy skin to maintain body temperature.

Congenital nevi usually form in the baby in the womb before the third month of pregnancy. Some cases known where giant nevi have appeared after birth; these called tardive nevi  ( delayed nevus ). It is unknown if certain drugs, diseases, or diets during pregnancy can influence the formation of moles. Although it seems more girls than boys are affected, nevus can appear in both sexes, in all races and on any part of the body. They are not contagious and are rarely hereditary.

Congenital moles rarely go away on their own. They tend to grow in proportion to the body. The colour of a congenital mole may stay the same, or it may lighten or darken over time. Most of them seem to clear up over time. The nevus has no function. However, they are essential because they can sometimes lead to skin cancer called malignant melanoma.

A clinically atypical nevus is a mole that shows changes that make it suspicious. The signs that must known as ” ABCDE “come from Asymmetry,  Irregular edges,  Heterogeneous colouration, Diameter greater than 6 mm and  Elevation of part of its surface. Other changes must considered, such as excessive growth in a short time, itching, pain or bleeding.

are beauty marks moles

Asymmetry  when one half of the nevus does not match the other; jagged borders poorly defined, map-like boundaries, and heterogeneous colouration refers to different shades of colour, especially blue, black, or reddish, distributed evenly irregularly. A diameter greater than 6 mm refers to a nevus more giant than a pencil’s back.

Apart from these data, it is essential to examine the moles that are very different from the others. Those that different known as moles with the ugly duckling sign.

In our country and other Latin American countries, dark moles found on the palms of the hands, on the soles of the feet and the nails are at high risk, especially if they have undergone a recent change, such as growth, erosion, bleeding, etc.

Due to sun exposure and during puberty and pregnancy, moles can increase in size, number or pigmentation. This  normal, but when there  changes in a mole, it should  checked by a dermatologist.


Most moles are harmless, but some have a higher chance of developing melanoma. These are large, very dark, and moles with colour variation. Also, cause for concern is a change in growth, colour, surface texture, pain, bleeding, or itching. A doctor should evaluate any such change if it lasts longer than 2 weeks.

Melanoma cases have increased by  1800% over the past 60 years. It not known why. Some experts believe intermittent and severe sun exposure may be a triggering factor, especially during childhood.

Although it not known why moles start to change, a changing mole still the main clue to detecting melanoma. 80% of people diagnosed with melanoma began with a change in a mole. Those at higher risk of melanoma have a more atypical and irregular moles, or very light-skinned people, such as those of Eastern European or Scandinavian or British descent. Moles that experience abnormal changes in size, shape, colour, elevation, or discomfort require immediate medical evaluation. It can often cured if melanoma detected early and surgically removed.


Treatment must individualized for each person. The decision to treat or not and how to treat a nevus is based on the person’s age and health, and the size, appearance, location, and growth history of the mole. Currently, surgery is the only effective treatment. Most doctors recommend surgical removal to decrease cancer risk and for cosmetic reasons. Smaller nevi can cut directly, and the edges of the lesion can sewn up. This technique called “ direct excision“. Often the nevus pigment will start to show up again at the edges of the scar after this procedure. Larger nevus can removed in stages, removing a little at a time until the entire nevus removed. This called a ” serial excision .”

Occasionally, thick scars called keloids appear. If they unimportant, surface dermabrasion or  CO2 laser peeling can  performed to hide them. When they are larger, the treatment of choice will consist of resection, removing the scar tissue and suturing or rejoining the edges. Moreover, when this is impossible, there are two  alternatives :

  1. Do it two or more times so that the healthy skin sis stretchesenough to eliminate the separation of the edges.
  2. Place an expander or silicone bag under the skin, with a valve through which serum iis njected every seven or 10 days. When it swells, the skin sstretchesuntil the excess skin covers the lack of scar tissue.

When its size does not allow resection and approximation of the edges,  graft or flap techniques uare sed.

other injuries

But not all brown skin spots are moles. For example, in areas exposed to the sun, freckles and actinic lentigines, also called age spots, are very common. These are grey-brown spots that appear on the wrists, back of the hands, forearms and face, usually small and tend to stick together. Other widespread lesions in middle-aged people are seborrheic keratoses, which are similar to warts .and that appear on the face or the trunk. Both eare asily diagnosed by the dermatologist and nare ot cancerous.

In most cases, the clinical examination is enough to know if a mole is benign or malignant. In doubtful cases, an optical magnifying device uis sed to examine them, called dermoscopy. The definitive diagnosis mis ade by extirpation or biopsy and studied under a microscope.