We all have at least 10 to 40 moles on our skin. A mole, medically known as a "nevi", is a harmless skin blemish. Basically, moles are the collection of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Most moles appear in the early stages if life and stop developing once you're in your 20's. However, some moles aren't permanent and they will disappear as you age.

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Moles are commonly present on your face, arms, chests, back and legs, but they can also appear in rare areas such as your scalp, in your armpits, under your nails and around your genitals. Not all moles are black. Some are brown, blue or purple. They appear in different shapes - oval, square, star-shaped and round. In addition, moles are not always small; in many instances they can cover large areas. The surface of a mole can be flat or raised, smooth or wrinkled.

Be aware of any moles are larger than 8-inches in diameter. Moles this size, or larger, can indicate a severe problem such as melanoma or even cancer. What causes moles is quite unknown. Scientists have found that as genes and hormones change moles can darken and become enlarged. As a result, women can develop additional moles during pregnancy.

It's suspected that moles react negatively to sun exposure. For this reason, always apply sun protection to prevent moles from getting darker. Sunscreen will also protect your skin from harmful sun rays. If a mole becomes itching, painful, bleeding or irritated you should visit your doctor immediately to have it looked at.

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