A mole is a growth on the skin that is very common and most times benign (non-cancerous). Moles are usually round or oval and smaller than a pencil eraser. They may be present at birth or may appear later on—usually before age 40. Moles are very common- most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body. Moles, raised or flat, are areas of pigmented skin that are black or brown. They can be found alone or in groups anywhere on the body. Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment, but a person may want to remove a mole for personal or cosmetic reasons. When moles are surgically removed, they normally do not return.
Besides moles, there are a number of common benign skin lesions that many clients may want evaluated. These include epidermal cysts, flesh-colored bumps around the eyes (known as sebaceous hyperplasia or syringomas), shiny red bumps on the face and body (known as cherry angiomas), and firm brown bumps on the legs and arms (known as dermatofibromas). Although these lesions are usually harmless, some clients may want them removed for personal or cosmetic reasons.