A mole or nevus is a dark, raised spot on our skin comprised of skin cells that have grown in a group rather than individually. These cells are called melanocytes and are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment (color) in our skin.
Moles can form from sun exposure, but we are also born with them, inheriting them genetically. Although number of moles varies from person to person, fair skinned people generally have more moles due to lower amounts of melanin in their skin, and the average adult has between 10 and 40 moles. Moles can even come and go with hormonal changes such as pregnancy or puberty.
Most people develop more moles on their skin naturally with age and sun exposure, and — most of the time — these moles are harmless. However, we need to conduct skin checks regularly (recommended monthly, especially if you have a
relative with skin cancer, or at least every three months) to see if our moles have changed.
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