What Are Moles?

Moles are a cluster of melanocytes, or cells that carry skin pigment. When these cells grow together instead of spread throughout the skin, they form dark marks known as moles, or nevi. Most moles are small, less than the diameter of a pencil eraser, and are harmless.

There are several factors that play into the formation of moles. Some people are born with moles. These are known as congenital moles. Most moles, however, form after birth and are influenced by heredity and sun exposure.

Removing Moles

There are two basic methods to mole removal. One is excision where the mole is completely removed and the skin is stitched back together. The other is cauterization, where the mole is burned away using a special tool.

Moles will be removed if they bothers a patient (by rubbing on clothing, etc), patients find them unattractive, or if they could be cancerous. If you have a mole that is causing you concern, check with your dermatologist and find out what your options are.