Moles are very common. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body. They may be pink, tan, brown, or a color similar the person’s normal skin tone. Moles can be flat or raised.
Moles are usually round or oval and smaller than a pencil eraser. They may be present at birth or may appear later on—usually before age 40. People who have dark skin tend to have dark moles. Moles may darken during pregnancy or after sun exposure. Moles tend to fade away in older people.
Avoid sun exposure and use a sunscreen regularly to help prevent moles from developing. Everyone should perform a monthly skin self-exam. This is particularly important if you have many moles on your body. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice a new mole, a change in the size, shape or color of a mole, or find another suspicious skin lesion.
Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment. When moles are surgically excised, they normally do not return.