Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes produce more pigment, causing the skin to tan or darken. Sometimes, clusters of melanocytes and surrounding tissue form non-cancerous growths called moles. Moles are very common, and most people have between 10 and 40 of them. Moles may be pink, tan, brown or a color that is very close to the person’s normal skin tone. Sun protection with appropriate clothing and sunscreen is the best way to avoid mole development.
Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment. However, if you have moles, it’s important to keep an inventory of their number and appearance. If your moles change in size, shape or color, or if you develop news moles as an adult, you should schedule an appointment to have them evaluated by one of our Board Certified Dermatologists.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, call 512.930.3909.