Benign and Atypical

A mole is a pigmented growth on the outer layer of the skin, and can be round or oval, flat or raised. Moles can occur singly or in clusters on any part of the body. Everyone has at least a few moles—most generally appear by age 20, while a small percentage of babies (one to three percent) have one or more moles at birth.

Changes in hormone levels that occur during puberty or pregnancy can cause moles to become larger and darker. Most moles are benign, but atypical moles— which are usually hereditary—may develop into melanoma. Congenital moles are more apt to become cancerous than those that develop after birth.

Moles occur when melanocyte cells in the skin grow in a cluster. Atypical moles —the ones that become cancerous—seem to develop as a result of exposure to sunlight.

Contact Storwick and Associates for treatment information at 403.286.0086.