A red flag for melanoma is if you have a new mole that doesn’t look like your other moles, and if it’s a raised mole and all of your other moles are flat, this isn’t as worrisome as you may think.

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“Melanoma can be raised or flat, so just the fact that a mole is raised doesn’t necessarily mean it is dangerous,” begins Caroline A. Chang, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and a board certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist with Dermatology Professionals, Inc.

But that can still be scary: one raised mole and all the others are flat. Depending on its location, a raised mole will be subject to frequent irritation from clothes, and this can sometimes make it bleed.

But the frequent rubbing upon it by clothing and the resultant irritation (which can make a brown mole appear somewhat reddish) have nothing to do with melanoma.

New Mole on the Block raised, flat
“The newness of a mole is more significant than the specific quality,” says Dr. Chang. “A new mole that is changing over the course of three to six months is concerning.”

This means see a dermatologist, even if you’re young. However, a new mole in people over 50 needs to be examined, even if it isn’t changing.

dr. chang

Dr. Chang practices general and cosmetic dermatology and has a special focus on melanoma and the use of dermoscopy for mole monitoring.