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Young woman with at birthmark on her back, skin. Checking benign moles

Why Do People Get Moles and Skin Tags? Causes and Treatments You Should Know

Why do people get moles and skin tags? This is a pretty common question because we all have them, but they’re kind of unsightly and don’t serve a purpose- so why do they form in the first place?

The average adult has as many as 10 and 40 moles covering their body! With that in mind, let’s dive into this subject in a little more depth!

Why Do People Get Moles, and What Are They?

Moles are relatively small growths that appear either alone or in clusters on our skin. Typically, they boast a pink, brown or black colour.

Most moles naturally form when skin cells grow in a condensed area rather than spreading evenly throughout the skin, leaving darker pigment behind.

3 Interesting Facts About Moles

Here are a few facts about moles you should take note of:

  1. Moles can be either slightly raised or completely flat.
  2. Some moles get darker during pregnancy and when frequently exposed to the sun.
  3. Sun exposure is linked to an increased number of moles.
  4. The majority of your moles will be fully developed by the age of 30.

This leads us nicely onto our next section…

Are There Different Types of Moles?

In short, yes there are.

There are two kinds of moles you need to be aware of:

Dysplastic Nevi

These moles are usually larger than the diameter of a standard sized pencil and might be a weird shape, boast uneven colouring, and display curved edges.

This kind of mole is more likely to develop into cancer, so you need to keep an eye on them for any changes in appearance.

Congenital Nevi

We’re born with these moles.

Sadly, there’s a slightly higher chance of these kinds of moles developing into cancer, in comparison to the moles that form after birth.

Top Tip: as we’ve already said, always get any changes to a mole checked. It’s best to play it safe, and nip anything nasty in the bud. These are the modifications you should keep an eye out for:

  • Colour
  • Height, shape and size
  • Bleeding
  • Oozing
  • Itching
  • Tenderness
  • Pain

Be sure to check out your skin, especially areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. There’s a good chance most your moles won’t change, and if they don’t- no need to worry.

However, it’s always a good idea to regularly monitor your moles, so you’re more likely to notice any changes. That way you can seek the help of a dermatologist should your moles begin to change or if they are concerning you.

Mole Prevention Tips

Moles occur largely as a result of our genetics and sun exposure, and there’s nothing we can do about the former- so you need to focus on the latter.

Start applying SPF before heading outside (at least factor 30), and if possible where clothing that covers most of your skin. This goes a long way in helping reduce UV exposure.

How Do You Treat A Mole?

If your doctor’s concerned about the appearance of your mole, they’ll book you in for a biopsy or dermoscopy. At Ageless Living Cold Lake, our advanced Dermoscopy techniques can identify skin conditions while they are still small and easily treatable. Advanced Dermoscopy involves using specialized cameras to capture a wide spectrum of light to look deeper into the skin. Dermoscopy is a highly specialized way of diagnosing a mole, and the service is offered here at Ageless Living Cold Lake.

In the unfortunate event the mole turns out to be skin cancer, your dermatologist or doctor will follow up with the best course of action.

What’s a Skin Tag?

Skin tags go by a variety of terms, so don’t let that confuse you:

  • Cutaneous tags
  • Acrochordons
  • Fibroepithelial polyps
  • Soft fibromas

They all mean the same thing!

Skin tags are just small flaps of skin tissue, usually no bigger than a few millimetres. However, in more extreme cases, skin tags can grow as big as half an inch.

Just like moles, skin tags can either occur in a small cluster or alone. In terms of appearance, they usually rest directly on the surface of your skin or look like they’re hanging from a tiny stalk.

Typically, they match the colour of your skin, however, some might be slightly darker.

The good news is, they’re not dangerous.

Typically they occur anywhere the body regularly folds, or chronic rubbing occurs:

  • Neck
  • Eyelids
  • Back
  • Chest
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Under the breasts

Usually, skin tags aren’t painful. However, if you have something continually rubbing against them like clothes and jewellery, you could agitate it and cause it to grow and bleed.

Who’s Likely to Develop a Skin Tag?

Women are more likely to have a skin tag than men, especially those who’ve put on a little weight after childbirth.

In some cases, the friction caused by the excess skin rubbing against each other triggers the formation of a skin tag, or even use of cheap allow jewelry can cause a skin tag.

Also, seniors (over the age of 50) are more prone to skin tags developing, as are those with diabetes.

How Do You Treat a Skin Tag?

If you want to get rid of a skin tag for cosmetic reasons, a dermatologist can remove it using a variety of methods. It might even surprise you that most skin tags or moles can be removed without the use of a scalpel or cutting of any kind!

Luckily, you don’t need any time to recover from this procedure. The procedure is very minor, and you shouldn’t suffer from scarring- win-win!

Did You Enjoy This Blog Post?

We hope this article helped answer the question; ‘why do people get moles and skin tags?’.

If you enjoyed this, we’re confident you’ll love the other articles published on the Ageless Living online magazine.

Over there we talk about everything from the secrets to a long and healthy life to advice on safely eating leftovers. Enjoy!

Alternatively, if you have any questions about skincare or our treatments, please feel free to reach out and contact us and we’ll get back to you to schedule your free skin consultation.

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Megan Nicholls

Megan graduated with honours in 2011 from Georgian College, Ontario, as a practical nurse. She has completed extensive training and certification in the fields of dermatology and aesthetic medicine. Megan specializes in BOTOX® and filler injections, medical-grade skincare, assessment and treatment of varicose and spider veins, and the application of light and energy-based technologies, to name a few. She is qualified as a Certified Management Professional, and a Certified Aesthetic Consultant and is currently undertaking a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Megan serves as our Director of Operations, where she leads our team with the vision of providing unrivalled products and services while utilizing the concepts of the "Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health" program from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.