Several skin lesions are very common and almost always benign (non-cancerous).
These conditions include moles, freckles, skin tags, benign lentigines, and seborrheic keratoses.
However, moles are the most commonly examined for cancer if changes are detected.
What does a cancerous mole look like?
A normal mole, like the one pictured here, is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised, round or oval. Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the cells that give skin its color. Normal moles also develop from these skin cells.
What causes moles to suddenly appear?
The cause of moles isn’t well understood. It’s thought to be an interaction of genetic factors and sun damage in most cases. Moles usually emerge in childhood and adolescence, and change in size and color as you grow. New moles commonly appear at times when your hormone levels change, such as during pregnancy.
When should I be worried about a mole?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. If you notice a change in colour or shape, or the mole becomes itchy, painful or starts to bleed, see a doctor immediately.
What does seborrheic keratosis look like?
Seborrheic keratoses may look like warts, moles, or skin cancer. Their appearance is waxy, and they look as if they are stuck onto the skin. Texture: Lesions usually start off as small, rough bumps, and they gradually get thicker and develop a warty surface. They can sometimes appear waxy and “stuck on.”