A bleeding mole can be a normal mole that has been scratched or irritated, but it could be an indication of skin cancer. Moles on the face can bleed because of shaving or removing hairs. Moles can be sensitive and start to bleed when you apply make up. You can hurt or scratch a mole, perhaps without even noticing.
Some irregular moles can bleed though they are not cancer.
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Signs of Skin Cancer
The most dangerous situation is when the mole bleeds because it is a precancerous lesion or skin cancer. People who have fairer skin are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer than people who have darker skin. In addition, people who have repeatedly suffered severe sunburn are at a higher risk of getting skin cancer. Especially, if you think that you are in a high risk group, learn about the signs of skin cancer.
People who have gotten repeated sunburns are at a higher risk, but no one is totally immune. Risk estimates are statistical; every person is different.
If you have questions about a particular bleeding mole, seek medical advice.
It is a good idea to learn how to do monthly self-examination of your body. Get a loved one to help you and if you have particular moles of concern it would be good to take pictures of them.
You would want to use mirrors and examine your head, face, neck, back, the lower part of your body including genitalia and also your legs.
A good technique is when a doctor takes pictures of a normal mole or bleeding mole over time, say every year, to document whether there are any changes in it. It is normal for adults to have an assortment of moles all over their body. The key thing to watch for is when a mole changes color, shape, and/or gets bigger.
The average adult can have many moles during their lifetime. Removing benign moles, except on the face for cosmetic purposes is not necessary. Often, because of mole roots, they will return as well.
First Aid for Bleeding Moles
Itching, bleeding and oozing moles can be annoying. Facial moles by the eyes and nose get special attention. Bleeding moles can occur while shaving the face, tweezing hairs, or applying make up. When you have a bleeding mole, you will need to apply first aid. You should cover the mole with a clean cloth. Apply pressure for a few minutes until the bleeding stops. Clean the mole with soap and water and cover with a bandage. If the mole continues to have bleeding problems it could be related to precancerous skin conditions or skin cancer.
Factors in determining whether a bleeding mole or other mole is of concern:
- Sun exposure can be a factor making moles appear, grow and evolve. People are born with moles, and they appear and develop over the person’s life
- There are the normal processes of shedding of skin cells, known as dermatitis, and there can also be skin irritation, known as eczema
- It can be difficult to tell normal moles from cancerous ones. Moles that are cancerous are not always painful or bleeding. Know when to seek medical treatment. Look for changes and irritation that occur. If you see changes to moles and moles bleeding, seek treatment after 2-3 weeks
Moles can have too many blood vessels that break through the skin and cause bleeding. Moles can be normal even when they itch. If you continue to scratch a mole, it will eventually bleed from the scratching. In addition to the classic round or oval dark mole, there is skin with red spots, showing blood vessels that are stopped up. These too can occasionally bleed over time.
What makes moles
Moles grow within the existing skin structure. On the bottom of the skin are the melanocytes, which give pigment or color to the epidermis. Moles grow through these skin layers and contain blood vessels, which have their normal function, to nourish that part of the body. Of course, that is why moles bleed, with all those blood vessels. They can also contain nerves for sensation and that is why they itch. Moles have oil glands of various types, hair, follicles, and sweat glands.
The factors that determine when and where moles grow include hereditary tendencies, environment, and especially sun exposure. Use of tanning beds can make moles appear and also become more problematic over time.
The normal mole
A normal mole is usually a regular shape, either circular or oval. It does not itch or cause pain unless it is rubbed against or suffers other trauma. Normal moles tend to be the size of a pencil eraser or smaller. They are regular in size and in color. When normal moles grow, it takes a long period of time. Moles develop over many years, and then can fade as we become old and gray.
About 10 percent of people have irregular moles, known as dysplastic nevi. These are more likely to become cancer, although the majority of them do not become cancer and are not dangerous. They have an irregular shape, plus different colors and can grow larger.
The three types of skin cancer
The three types of skin cancer are: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer can be annoying and disfiguring but rarely spread to other parts of the body. They can be readily cured.
Look carefully for changes in the size of moles. Also, a mole that forms sores and bleeds, and does not heal is a warning sign of possible cancerous or precancerous changes.
A bleeding mole, especially one of irregular shape can be a cause for concern.
The three types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Cancer – can present as a bleeding or oozing mole. Scabs or crusts form over time, but then the mole starts to bleed again. It also can look like reddened or irritated skin over a larger area. The patch of reddened skin can appear on the face, neck, chest, back or legs. It can be itchy and painful, and then for a time stop causing any pain or problems. Basal cancer presents as a shiny bump and can be confused with an ordinary mole. It tends to be red, but in darker people it can often look brown or black. Other times it looks like a pink-raised area that can have blood vessels growing toward the surface, looking like a bleeding mole. The area around the mole can look like scar tissue or be waxy, indicating activity below the surface.
- Squamous Cell Cancer – is the second most common form of skin cancer. It arises from the epidermis, the upper layer of the skin. Squamous lesions can also look like moles, and can bleed. They usually present to the doctor as an elevated growth on the skin that has a central depression. They can be an open sore and sometimes they start to bleed on and off. Squamous cell cancer is closely related to too much suntan or sunburn over a person’s life.
- Melanoma – You should be on the lookout for melanoma because it is the only skin cancer that often is eventually deadly. The acronym used for cancerous signs is ABCDE. Melanoma is the rarest form of skin cancer. However, if melanoma is treated early in its development, it can be localized, removed and cured. Here are some of the signs of melanoma from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- Asymmetry – is not a definite sign of cancer but can be a cause for concern. Displastic Nevi (atypical moles) can be larger than a pencil eraser, and be of irregular shape and color. The overwhelming majority of displactic nevi never turn into melanoma, however it is more likely for this to happen than for a regular mole to change to melanoma.
- Irregular Borders – again, this a characteristic of displastic nevi, and a warning sign of possible development of a melanoma.
- Changes in color – the change in color is an important characteristic. This denotes a dynamic of change and moving, which can indicate a type of skin cancer. A central brown lesion could be surrounded by lighter color lesions, or a gradually changing red zone that extends into the skin.
- Diameter – a larger diameter, larger than a pencil eraser can be a cause for concern, especially if that diameter is increasing.
- Evolution – important indicator of cancer. A mole that is changing or bleeding should be examined by a dermatologist.
Bleeding moles diagnosis video:
Bleeding Mole and Your Health
Moles are part of most people’s lives. They appear at birth and evolve over your lifespan. They are of different shapes, with most ordinary moles circular or oval. Mole colors range from light pink to dark brown and black.
People with an active lifestyle can irritate and damage moles by trauma, irritating clothes, and shaving, and hair removal. Even normal moles can occasionally become irritated and bleed. What is of more concern are moles that heal and then start to bleed again. They can form crusts and scabs, and be irregular in shape and color, and also grow. Such moles can become health problems, and skin cancer. Most skin cancer is easily treated.
The most dangerous type of cancer is melanoma that can spread to other parts of the body, but melanoma can be treated and removed if it is discovered in early stages.
Consult with a medical professional if you have specific moles that disturb you.