Everyone has moles. They’re as common as anything you can think of and occur in pretty much every race and skin color there is. These dark spots on our bodies are sometimes called “beauty marks” and usually start in childhood, becoming more frequent as we age. In people with light skin, there are usually more moles than those who are darker. Sometimes, you might find that there’s a hair growing out of a mole. While it can be weirdly unsettling, it’s not necessarily abnormal. Here’s some more information about hairy moles, what they mean, and what you can do about them.
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Types of Hairy Moles
When it comes to hairy moles, there are different kinds that occur on different body parts.
While they are all painless, they can manifest in various ways:
- Hairy Nevus Mole: A “nevus” is the medical term for a mole. Basically, it is a grouping of cells thick with melanocytes, which are the cells that give skin color. New ones may form due to increased sunlight exposure in different sizes. Sometimes when they form over a hair follicle, the hair manages to grow right through the mole and stick out from it. It can be a single hair or many hairs, depending on the size of the mole and how well the hair can get through it. You’ll find it almost anywhere on your body that hair grows, including your face, on your back, and your limbs.
- Congenital Hairy Nevi: This is a grouping of dark cells on the skin’s surface in a baby. It tends to be flatter than a normal mole and much larger, with hair growing from it. While it is not usually cancerous at birth, the child will carry a higher chance for that mark to become cancerous as their life progresses.
- Birthmark: Birthmarks are different marks in the skin that are present at birth. Some are simple moles, and some are a combination of skin pigment, blood vessels, and fatty deposits.
Moles are found almost anywhere, from your buttocks to your fingers. They are even found on your face and neck. Learn more about a mole on the neck by clicking here.
On Your Face
Who wants marks on their face? Nobody, that’s who. Unfortunately, moles don’t care where they form, and the face is a common area for you to find them.
Since your face is rarely covered, it gets a lot of sun, which is a trigger for moles to form. This is why you might find new moles appearing on your face throughout your life. Sunscreen will help prevent new moles (as well as skin cancer and wrinkles).
If a mole on your face grows hair through it, it can be pretty ugly and embarrassing. Simply watch your moles and trim the hair coming through before it shows up, or if you think your problem needs extra help, see a dermatologist for mole removal or other solutions.
Moles tend to change over time, even the ones that are perfectly normal. But sometimes, this can be an indicator of cancer. Learn more about what to look for with mole changes here.
You’ll Find Them All Over Your Body
While sun exposure increases mole growth, you’ll still find moles on all parts of your body. And since you have hair follicles almost everywhere, it’s possible for hairy moles to plague you in many areas.
Places you might find hairy moles include:
Why Does a Mole Grow Hair?
When you see hair come from a mole, it’s not actually the mole that’s growing the hair, it’s the skin underneath. You see, moles gather at the top of the skin’s layer, leaving the hair follicle under it intact. Sometimes, the hair manages to push its way right through the mole tissue and out the top or side.
Not every weird-looking mole is cancerous. Learn about what you have to do and don’t need to look for when it comes to skin cancer. Go here for more details on signs of cancerous moles.
Cancer and Hairy Moles
There’s good news when it comes to cancer and hairy moles. According to dermatologists, hair growing through a mole is actually a sign that the mole is not cancerous. When cancer begins to invade the skin, it disrupts normal growth patterns, including hair growth, meaning that the hair follicle would stop working properly. In fact, if you have a hairy mole that suddenly stops growing hair, you might want to have a doctor check out that mole to make sure everything is normal.
Irregular moles, in general, are often the first sign of skin cancer.
Make sure you check over your moles (hairy or not) regularly and look for the following signs of skin cancer:
- Irregular/hazy border.
- Atypical color, including multi-colored and patchy black, blue, dark brown, or red.
- Large size, generally larger than a pencil eraser.
- Any changes in a normally stable mole.
Something that’s not typically normal is a black mole. If you find a new mole on your body that is black or an old one that has turned black, you might want to consult a medical professional. More details about the black mole can be found by going here.
Hairy Moles in Children
Children tend to have less moles than an adult, simply because they haven’t been in the sun as much and their skin is new, with less time to form the irregular clumps of melanocytes that cause moles. But they also sometimes have moles that are specific to childhood, that adults do not usually form.
Spitz mole: This type of mole may be alarming to some parents due to its size, but is a benign growth usually occurring on children’s face and neck. It is a large, pink or reddish dome-shaped mole. A doctor might want to watch it, even if it’s not cancerous, to monitor its growth or changes.Warning
Make sure you don’t try and remove hairy moles yourself. Unlike pimples, they can’t be squeezed or picked off and must be cut off with an instrument like a scalpel or laser. Trying to remove a mole yourself can cause unnecessary pain, scarring, and infection.
- The palm of your hand: There are certain areas that are much less likely to have moles on them, that usually include any spot where the sun doesn’t get to. Places like the soles of your feet, your genitals, and the palms of your hand are on this list. If your child has a mole on their palm, it warrants a trip to a medical professional, as moles there have a higher chance of being cancerous than other areas. You won’t often find that a mole here is hairy, as your palm doesn’t generally grow hair at all.
- The scalp: Most people don’t even realize it when they’ve got a mole on their scalp since their hair covers it so well. Moles here are very frequently hairy, due to a large number of hair follicles present. In children, you might notice a mole that steadily gets larger as they grow, which is normal.
If you notice a hairy mole on your body, don’t worry – it’s a common thing. Watch the mole for signs of cancer and visit a medical professional for advice if it bothers you enough, but otherwise, don’t think twice about that ugly hairy spot on your body. Chances are, you’ll have more than one in your life!
You can find further details of Types of moles here.