The definition of moles are overgrowths of the skin's pigment cells (melanocytes). In Australia, moles are commonplace. In the world, they are also a common feature on an individual. Almost all of us have a mole, if not multiple. It is unusual to have moles at birth, they usually appear in childhood and early teenage years. It is known in Australia, that by the age of fifteen years, Aussie teens will have an average of more than 50 moles.

What are the features of a mole?

Generally, moles are medium to dark brown, however they can span a gradient in colour from skin coloured to black. The majority of moles are flat, relatively even in colour and regular in shape. Some can be raised and these are usually soft to touch and lighter in colour. Moles differ from freckles.

Occasionally moles can develop a white halo around them (halo naevus) and then disappear; this is a natural process and generally harmless.

Fact Sheets