Many people refer to a mole as any dark spot or irregularity in the skin. Doctors use different terms. But the following types of skin marks such as these are not treated the same way moles are and are not discussed here:
Abnormal formations of blood vessels (hemangiomas)
Keratoses (benign or precancerous spots, which appear after about age 30 years)
What causes moles?
Some people are born with moles. Other moles appear later in life.
Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of moles and may even play a role in the development of atypical, or dysplastic, moles.
The role of heredity cannot be underemphasized. Many families have a type of mole known as dysplastic (atypical), which can be associated with a higher frequency of melanoma.
Many people have raised marks on their body, either black or brown in color, which range from the size of a pencil tip to the size of a bottle cap. These marks are called moles. While most moles are harmless, some moles can become cancerous and should be removed by a doctor. People sometimes want moles removed for cosmetic reasons or convenience.