Before having mole removal firstly what are moles?

First let me start of by saying that pretty much everyone is born with a couple of moles, they are normal.  So you shouldn't automatically think of m...

First let me start of by saying that pretty much everyone is born with a couple of moles, they are normal.  So you shouldn’t automatically think of mole removal just because you have a mole or two.

What are they?

So with that out of the way, what are they?  Well moles are basically  an overgrowth of pigmentation cells known technically as melanocytes.  They grow either by themselves or in groups.  Depending on the how many pigmentation cells are involved you end up with moles of all different shapes, colours and sizes.  Generally the more pigmentation cells, the darker the mole will be in colour.

Now remember what we said earlier about most people being born with a mole or two?  The bad news is that most will appear after birth in particular during your teenage years or during pregnancy.  Why is this?  It has to do with hormone levels.  During periods of high hormone level changes moles are more likely to grow.  This also means that with age moles slowly start to disappear and by age I am talking past 50!

There are other things that can cause moles to suddenly appear.  One way is through over-exposure to sun.  The sun’s UV rays seem to stimulate mole growth somehow and when do we tend to have a lot of sun exposure?  Yes that’s right, during our teenage years!  Another reason can be you have a family genetic trait that can result in you having a tendency to have more moles than the average person.

How many?

So a question I hear a lot is how many moles should an average person have?  Well somewhere between 25 – 40 would be considered normal but it also depends on where you live.  For example if you live in a country which has a lot of sun exposure like, say Australia, the average number of moles is going to be a lot higher.  It could be somewhere in the number of 100 moles on average.


Now why would the number of moles you have matter?  Unfortunately as the number of moles increases you are at greater risk of developing melanoma which is a particularly aggressive skin cancer.  It is in fact a cancer of the pigmentation cells and it can be extremely life threatening.  The only saving grace with melanoma is that it appears on the surface of the skin so is a lot easier to detect than internal cancers.  I want to discuss melanoma more in a future post but if you are in anyway suspicious that you have melanoma please read my post,  Should I consider mole removal or is my mole normal? This post will explain the early warning signs and whether you should see a doctor immediately and arrange for mole removal.

Leave a Reply