So you’ve discovered a “new” mole that has appeared overnight;  however, things aren’t always as they seem.

“There really isn’t such a thing,” says Gary Goldenberg, MD, of Goldenberg Dermatology, and assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

“People often talk about something appearing overnight, but it’s not possible,” he ocntinues.

“There are some tumors that grow rapidly, such as keratoacanthoma, but even these take several weeks on average.

“Most growths appear over time, but the person may not notice these, and then all of a sudden notices the lesion and thinks it appeared overnight.”

Don’t Get Caught off Guard

Here’s what you should do to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard by a mole that seemingly develops overnight: Create a mole map of your body.

This won’t be practical if you have a high number of moles, but even then, you may want to construct a map of perhaps one portion of your body that isn’t heavily peppered with moles.

Look at various parts of your body and, with a large sketch pad and a pencil, indicate the location of the moles (it helps to be able to draw, but even if you’re not skilled in this area, do your best; it will certainly help you get to know your moles).

If you find this task too daunting, you may want to consider serial digital dermoscopy, a technology for tracking suspicious changes in moles over time.

Various apps are out as well that can help track changes in moles.

Dr. Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology provides comprehensive care in medical and cosmetic dermatology, including melanoma and other skin cancer, moles, psoriasis, eczema and acne. He is the medical director of the Dermatology Faculty Practice, NY.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.