Moles in Children: What Parents Should Know

Moles on a young child’s skin are generally nothing to worry about. It is normal for new moles to appear during childhood and adolescence. Moles will grow as the child grows. Some moles will darken, and others will lighten. These changes are expected in children and seldom a sign of melanoma — a type of skin cancer that can begin in a mole.

While melanoma is rare in young children, it is helpful for parents to know that there are different types of moles. Most moles are harmless, but there are a few types that should be examined by a dermatologist just to be sure. The following guide explains why.

A Parent’s Guide to Moles
Common mole. Also referred to as a beauty mark or acquired nevus (mole), a common mole is harmless. Most moles that develop on a child’s skin are common moles.

Common moles appear during childhood and adolescence. These moles arise on skin that gets sun exposure and begin as a flat, round spot that is one color throughout. As the child grows, this benign (non-cancerous) mole grows symmetrically. This is, both sides look the same. A benign mole may rise above the surface of the skin and can lighten over time. During puberty, however, benign moles generally darken. Regardless of whether a mole lightens or darkens, the color stays uniform throughout. By the time a child become an adult, there are typically 12 to 20 common moles on the skin. Few benign moles develop after 30 years of age. Continue reading “Moles in Children: What Parents Should Know”