Nearly all adults have moles on their skin. Moles are more common in people with fairer skins, and they are generally brown in color. Moles are just small areas where more pigment cells have accumulated on the skin’s surface and are generally no cause for concern.
They are not painful, and are usually not removed unless they are in a prominent position and the individual concerned wants to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. The exact causes of moles are unknown, but there seems to be a strong genetic link; having lots of moles on your skin seems to run in families.
Although most moles are brown, some can appear that are a distinctive red color instead. They are blemishes of the small blood vessels which bring blood to the skin, called capillaries. There seems to be a direct link with being exposed to the sun and developing red moles on skin. Although red moles may look alarming, they are no more dangerous than the brown or beige moles. The medical name for these moles is cherry angioma and they are more commonly found on the torso rather than on the face or on the limbs. Like normal moles, there is no reason to remove cherry angioma moles unless they are in an obvious lace and making the patient feel self-conscious, or if they are causing irritation by rubbing against clothing. As these sorts of moles can be closely linked to the blood vessels, they can often bleed heavily if cut. Trying to remove moles of this type on your own at home is not recommended and if you have cherry angioma mole on the skin which are causing embarrassment or distress, speak to a doctor about professional removal. Most modern techniques to remove the red moles are quick and painless, and once the scab falls away from the wound, the skin underneath will be fresh and undamaged. Doctors or dermatologists will be able to advise on the most appropriate treatment for individual cases.
There is a commonly held belief that red moles are in some way more worrying and sinister than the ordinary brown moles. People worry about both sorts of moles as there is a strong link between moles and skin cancer. However, moles are really only of concern when they begin to change in some way as this is a sign that the cells have begun to change into something more alarming, called a malignant melanoma. The same rules apply to red moles as with other moles. Any mole which starts to grow, change into a more irregular shape, starts to bleed, or becomes very itchy should be reported to a doctor for further investigation. Knowing your body and being familiar with your moles will allow you to quickly identify whether any are growing or changing and if you need to remove a mole.
As there is a strong link between developing red moles and sun exposure, it is important to keep out of the sun as much as possible and use a high factor sunscreen. It is important to remember also that the sun is strong even when the temperature is not particularly high, and it is good practice to wear a sunscreen or moisturizer with added sun protection even on cooler days. It goes without saying that sunbeds and lying out in the sun should be avoided. As the sun is strongest in the middle of the day, think about wearing a hat or covering up more when you are out for the few hours before and after midday.