There are three main types of moles or pigmentary nevi: normal or typical, irregular and cancerous. All these three types are included in a superior category made out of 2 classes of moles: congenital (appearing at birth or immediately after) and acquired (appearing until the age of 20-25).
Thus, typical moles or pigmentary nevi are generally benign formations about the size of a rubber on a pencil (6 mm) that do not suffer alterations in shape, color or size along the years and can even disappear with age. These are usually associated with the presence of hair, around them of even springing from their center, but its presence or absence is not a differential factor. Typical moles can be flat or dome-shaped, but are always round or oval.
The second category is represented by the irregular moles or dysplastic nevi. Dysplastic nevi are usually asymmetrical, have irregular borders, multiple colors especially darker ones and exceed the size of a pencil rubber. This is one of the most important differences between the two moles categories. While most patients see a doctor for more dished moles, you should be aware of the fact that flat nevi are usually the ones creating health issues. Having more than 20-25 dysplastic moles on the body can increase the risk of developing melanoma. The same risk appears when a gigantic congenital mole exceeds 20 cm in size. Atypical moles contain abnormal cells presenting an alteration potential, possibly developing melanoma in time. Nevertheless, atypical moles or dysplastic nevi do not always become cancerous formations.
This atypical mole category is in its turn comprised of 3 subcategories: the Halo nevi, also called Sutton nevi, which indicate a mole’s evolution stage towards fibrosis and reabsorption, hence not representing a health threatening condition. The second subcategory would be the Blue nevi which are just another version of the typical ones and most often appear on the face, subcutaneously, their blue center being visible through the skin. They are benign growths, in most cases being just a cosmetic inconvenience. The last subcategory of atypical moles is represented by the Spitz nevi, previously known as juvenile melanomas, but currently recognized through microscopic testing, which is today available at Renew Skin & Health Clinic. They appear as small pink papules usually on babies’ heads and are considered benign growths.
The third main nevi category are the cancerous moles, also called melanomas which present an obvious irregular shape and have already become malignant. They are usually black, however, not all black moles are 100% cancerous, as both typical (rarely though) and atypical moles can turn into melanoma. This is the most easily detectable type of cancer, hence we recommend a regular medical check-up and permanent monitoring of moles that change their general aspect. Melanoma usually appears as an asymmetrical spot or formation, having irregular borders and a color that can vary from pink to dark brown or black, continuously growing in size with time. In some very isolated cases, melanoma can present no pigmentation whatsoever. Anyway, our Renew Skin & Health Clinic disposes of the necessary technology and the most experienced dermatologists for its tracing and treatment.