Normal moles can develop in most individuals, especially at the age of 50. However, normal moles may change dramatically and may even disappear over time.
You can identify moles by their color such as tan, brown or black, as well as by their shape such as oval or round. They are usually smaller than 1/4 inch (about 6 millimeters) in diameter — the size of a pencil eraser.
Unusual moles that may indicate melanoma
The characteristics of unusual moles include:
- Skin lesions:A new mole, uncommon growth, sore, bump, scaly patch, or dark spot develops and doesn’t go away
- Asymmetry:Uneven or unidentifiable moles
- Border:Uneven and ragged mole
- Color:The mole has a different color than normal skin
- Diameter:If the mole is larger than the normal size
- Evolving:The mole changes its size, color, or shape
Even with little exposure to direct sunlight, some areas of the body can also develop melanoma. Hidden melanomas can be found in places between your toes and on your palms, soles, scalp or private parts.
Hidden melanomas include:
- Melanoma under a nail.A rare type of melanoma that can occur in individuals with black skin color or darker skin pigments. It is often found under a finger or a toe nail.
- Melanoma in the mouth, digestive tract, urinary tract or vagina.This type of melanoma can be difficult to detect, as it is hidden under the mucous membrane.
- Melanoma in the eye.Changes in vision can help a doctor detectmelanoma. This type of melanoma often occurs in uvea.
Even with sunlight exposure or not , you are at risk of getting melanoma, as it has no chosen part of the body to occur. However, individuals with darker skin can get mostly hidden melanomas.
The first signs and symptoms of a melanoma include:
- An uncommon growth in the skin
- Existing mole changes such as thecolor or size
Most melanomas can be identified as normal-appearing skin.