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Moles are small pigmented marks on the skin. For the most part, moles are noncancerous and nothing to worry about, but if you have a mole you don’t like, it can usually be removed.

Moles that appear after you are 30 or that change in certain ways may become a problem. These moles may turn into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Since some moles can become cancerous, it’s important to regularly check your moles to make sure there are no changes.

When to See a Doctor

If you notice any of the following changes with your moles, you should schedule an appointment to meet with a doctor or dermatologist:

  • Size, shape, color, or elevation changes
  • Asymmetric sides
  • Ragged, notched, or blurred borders
  • Varying colors within the same mole
  • The mole is larger than 5 mm or 6 mm in diameter (the size of a pencil eraser)