Almost everyone has experienced some type of mole, which is a discolored growth on the skin. Moles appear when there’s an overgrowth of skin pigmentation cells, but certain risk factors can make them more likely to appear.

It’s estimated that many adults have somewhere between 10 and 40 moles on their body.1 While most are harmless, there’s a chance that some moles may develop into melanoma—one of the most serious types of skin cancer.2

Types of Moles

There are several different types of moles, which you may also hear some healthcare providers refer to as nevi (the medical name for moles). These types include:13

    • Common (or acquired) mole: This harmless mole is typically smaller than the size of a pencil eraser, and can develop throughout a person’s lifetime. Common moles are described as being round or oval-shaped with a smooth surface, and may be some variation of pink, tan, or brown depending on your skin tone.
    • Congenital mole: This is a type of mole that you’re born with, and it affects somewhere around 1 in 100 people. A congenital mole can be small or large in size—and if it’s considered to be giant, a healthcare provider may recommend removing it. That’s because having a very large congenital mole can increase the chances for developing melanoma.
    • Atypical mole: These moles look like the skin cancer melanoma, but are not. They’re typically larger than a pencil eraser with an abnormal shape, and may have more than one color. People with four or more atypical moles may have a higher risk for melanoma.4
    • Spitz nevus: This type of mole looks similar to melanoma, particularly with its raised, dome-shaped, and sometimes pink or multi-colored appearance. Spitz nevi typically crop up before age 20, but older adults can develop them, too.

What Is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that can develop in an existing or new mole.

Mole Symptoms

There typically aren’t any physical symptoms that come along with moles, other than noticing their appearance. But sometimes, moles can be itchy, or change in appearance if they are inflamed, like after being scratched. But common moles do have a specific set of features that distinguish them from a melanoma (skin cancer) or other skin growth.

Overall, experts say common moles are usually:5

  • Mostly one color
  • Flat or raised slightly
  • Round or circular-shaped
  • Mostly unchanging in their appearance, at least in the short-term

While most common moles may share these similar characteristics, keep in mind that they can look different from person to person. For example, moles can:5

  • Appear anywhere on the skin, including areas like the soles of the feet, palms, scalp, and under the nails
  • Differ widely in shape, size, and color
  • Have hair growing on them
  • Change slowly overtime, get darker or lighter, or potentially disappear altogether
  • Summary

    PSRA is an autoimmune response to a strep throat infection that manifests within 7–10 daysTrusted Source afterward.

    The symptoms that can affect one or more joints include swelling and pain. They may also involve the skin, kidneys, and eyes.

    Diagnosis may pose a challenge because a GAS infection may also cause ARF, which is similar to PSRA.

    Treatment entails NSAIDs and may include antibiotics. The mean duration of the condition is 2 monthsTrusted Source. Carditis is a dangerous complication.

    A person who develops arthritis shortly after recovering from strep throat should see a doctor for further assessment.

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