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.
“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, a board certified dermatologist and founder of the Rhode Island Dermatology Institute.
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
“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 practices general and cosmetic dermatology, and has particular expertise in melanoma and the use of dermoscopy for mole monitoring.
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.