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Doctor insights on: Freckle Vs Mole

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How can I tell the difference between a mole and a freckle?

How can I tell the difference between a mole and a freckle?

Why do you ask?: Freckles darken and lighten depending on sun exposure and occur in groups. A lentigo is a solitary dark spot that's flat. A nevus tends to be larger than a lentigo and may be palpable. The latter two are often called "moles". A pathologist can tell the difference on biopsy. It's more important that you be able to recognize lesions suspicions for melanoma and get them off promptly. ...Read more

Freckle (Definition)

A freckle is a small brown spot on your skin, caused by sun exposure. Use your abcde's to tell the difference between a freckle and skin cancer. A=asymmetry. B=border [irregular]. C=color [irregular]. D=diameter [larger than a pencil eraser]. E=evolving [change in color, size, height, new symptoms like bleeding, itching or crusting]. These are danger signs that ...Read more


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Is it normal to have a black/ very very dark brown freckle/mole?

Is it normal to have a black/ very very dark brown freckle/mole?

Depends: If this particular mole has never changed color size or shape and is less than 5mm than its possible that this is a normal mole or freckle. See your doctor if any question about this. If any mole changes or bleeds spontaneously for no reason definitely check with your doctor. One easy way to remember is abcd : assymmetry, bleeding, color change or diameter growth change. - mole should come off. ...Read more

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How to determine when a mole or a a freckle isn't a mole or a freckle?

How to determine when a mole or a a freckle isn't a mole or a freckle?

Mole: Freckles will tend to fade in months with less sun exposure, eg winter. Moles will not fade typically during the same time frame. A biopsy is the only way to know exactly, a dermatologist should be able to distinguish clinically between the two and determine if any are suspicious for skin cancer. ...Read more

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I have a mole on my back that changed from pink to a freckle kind of colour. Is this ok or should I get it checked out?

I have a mole on my back that changed from pink to a freckle kind of colour. Is this ok or should I get it checked out?

Get it checked.: Any time you notice a new or changing mole, it's a good idea to have it looked at by a doctor. Melanoma (the worst-case-scenario) is a potentially deadly skin cancer. ...Read more

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Could a flat mole (single freckle/beauty mark) become cancerous like regular past the surface moles do?

Could a flat mole (single freckle/beauty mark) become cancerous like regular past the surface moles do?

Yes: The presence of a flat mole, one that is irregular in shape and has variegated colors withi grey and dark brown areas represent the superficial moles that undergo malignant transformation leading to a nodular growth. The superficial melanomas less than 1mm thick are for the most part in-situ but as thickness (Breslow) develops, not so much as depth of penetration (Clark), it is now invasive. ...Read more

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My mole/freckle has changed within the past month and this is a sign of cancer?

Changing mole: Only a physician will be able to decide that. See your doctor and if there is any question, it should be biopsied. ...Read more

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I have a small freckle or possibly mole on my thigh that seems to appear and then disappear. It has a red ring around it. What is it?

I have a small freckle or possibly mole on my thigh that seems to appear and then disappear. It has a red ring around it. What is it?

Have it checked.: Most likely it is a benign lesion given your history. The red ring around it could be from irritation or the presence of a vascular lesion/blood vessels underlying or adjacent to the freckle. ...Read more

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I've had a small bump my shoulder for awhile, recently it appears to have a freckle/mole on it (reddish/brown)& at times itches. Should I be concernd?

I've had a small bump my shoulder for awhile, recently it appears to have a freckle/mole on it (reddish/brown)& at times itches. Should I be concernd?

Needs biopsy: An enlarging or changing mole should be addressed by excisional biopsy. See your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to have it addressed. The obvious concern is a change or dysplasia in a mole which can lead to melanoma. ...Read more

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I am a fair skinned female with many moles and freckles. A mole on my abdomen has grown in the past year and now has turned purple. Cause for concern?

Changing moles: Are always a cause for concern. Please go get it evaluated. We have previously mentioned the ABCD of moles. Asymetry, one side is different than the other. Borders are irregular. Color, changes or red, white and blue. Diameter, bigger than a pencil eraser. Those changes need evaluation. ...Read more

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I had a itchy frecle type mole on my shoulder removed a while back biopsy came back negative. But im concerned again as on my back I GT hard itchy sk?

I had a itchy frecle type mole on my shoulder removed a while back biopsy came back negative. But im concerned again as on my back I GT hard itchy sk?

Scar tissue: Over a joint or area of thich skin, you can develop thickened itchy s ar tissue. Bio oil or Mederma may decrease the thickness and relieve the itching. If not see doctor for dilute kenalog (triamcinolone). Injection to soften scar. ...Read more

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I've developed a freckle or mole on the side edge of my nipple. Should I be concerned?

I've developed a freckle or mole on the side edge of my nipple. Should I be concerned?

Learn your ABCD's: Probably isn't but could be a melanoma...Melanomas are screened by the abcd's: a-asymmetry; b-irregular borders; c-different colors; d-diameber >6mm (size of pencil eraser). If you notice a mole with these characteristics, get it checked out asap. If it is growing, ulcerating, bleeding, or otherwise changing, get it seen soon for evaluation and possible biopsy. Best wishes. ...Read more

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I'm getting a brown spot like a freckle/mole on my penis, what could this be?

Freckle or Mole?: Could be a lentigo or a nevus but also could be a papilloma -- have a dermatologist evaluate to be sure. .. ...Read more

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I have a smaller triangler mole or freckle on my face, it's lighter and even in color. Does this sound cancerous?

No: No, but it still can be cancer or anything else. Even a photo would not tell us for sure. You must have this lesion examined in person. See a dermatologist. It may be necessary to excise and examine in pathology lab to be sure. Don't take a chance. ...Read more

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Have a mole that's slightly inflamed with a pin hole on top of the freckle....Can it be skin cancer? It's not two dif colors n same size as reg freckl

Skin cancer: Skin cancers often develop from previous moles, freckles and benign (non-cancerous) skin pathology. The important features are irregular shape, color changes and intact orders. If a lesion changes in these areas or is initially irregular in shape and color. Since yours has changes with inflammation and a irregular hole it should probably be professionally evaluated. Photograph to identify changes. ...Read more

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It'd be possible that a person suddenly get a mole or freckle on the palm of their hand?

It'd be possible that a person suddenly get a mole or freckle on the palm of their hand?

Mole: Yes, moles may develop suddenly on the skin including the palms and soles. If the mole is very dark, or changes size, color, or shape, have it examined by a dermatologist. ...Read more

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How am I supposed to know if a mole or a freckle is just that or in fact signs of melanoma cancer?

How am I supposed to know if a mole or a freckle is just that or in fact signs of melanoma cancer?

When in doubt - eval: American academy of dermatology: asymmetry: 1 half is unlike the other. Border: irregular, scalloped or poorly defined. Color: varied with shades of tan, brown or black; or white, red or blue. Diameter: > 6 mm. Evolving: mole /skin lesion looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color. An irregular mole that itches, bleeds or is painful is worrisome for possible cancer. ...Read more

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How do I remove a mole? I have a mole on my breast. It almost looks like a large freckle. I also have a mole on my bikini line.

How do I remove a mole? I have a mole on my breast. It almost looks like a large freckle. I also have a mole on my bikini line.

Others: Others here have described moles that need to be checked out for fear of cancer. The important thing to understand is that the only way to completely remove a true mole is to completely remove the entire thickness of skin encompassing the mole. This means there will be a permanent scar no matter how inconspicuous it may eventually turn out. Also, most moles are roughly round in shape leaving a round hole in the skin after removal that does not lend itself to a simple closure. If the circle is small, say 2-3 mm then a simple closure may work. Wounds larger than 3mm will not lay down flat with simply closing them using stitches. They need to be elongated into an ellipse to close properly. Many patients have trouble understanding why removing a 6mm mole will result in a scar 1.5 cm long. That is why it is important to try and decide if the mole is being removed for cosmetic reasons or medical reasons. Any mole can be biopsied with a 2mm skin punch to determine if there is medical reason to remove it with little to no visible scarring. Any person seeking cosmetic mole removal needs to weigh the appearance of the mole versus what the scar would look like if it healed well and if it healed not so well. ...Read more

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I have a freckle/mole on left hand with uneven edges. Used to be a circle but has changed over the years. Should this be looked at? Pic in my files.

Mole: A changing mole with irregular edges should be carefully examined by a board certified dermatolgist to make sure it is not an abnormal mole or a melanoma skin cancer. ...Read more

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Red freckle developed under bra strap also coulor less mole on abdomen been bleeding and spot in bak of hair crusting and not healing?

Red freckle developed under bra strap also coulor less mole on abdomen been bleeding and spot in bak of hair crusting and not healing?

Should see a doctor: Skin moles that are ulcerated, crusted, bleeding or not healing may be a possible skin cancer until proven otherwise. These spots should be checked by a physician. ...Read more

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I'm a teen and I have a milimiter brown spot on my left nipple, maybe a tiny discoloration on 1of the patches? No pain/discharge, freckle/mole or cancer?

I'm a teen and I have a milimiter brown spot on my left nipple, maybe a tiny discoloration on 1of the patches? No pain/discharge, freckle/mole or cancer?

Likely benign: I would watch it for increase in size, change in consistency or bleeding; if none of these then this is likely a benign mole. ...Read more

Dr. Coyle Connolly
1,108 Doctors shared insights

Moles (Definition)

A mole (also called a nevus) is a localized overgrowth of pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) in the skin. Most moles are benign. However, these cells can become cancerous. This is known as melanoma, ...Read more


Dr. Coyle Connolly
479 Doctors shared insights

Nevi (Definition)

Nevi ...Read more