What looks like a pimple growing in a mole may be a harmless pimple, or, it can be melanoma or another kind of skin cancer that often resembles pimples.

Now if you notice something that looks like a pimple growing in a mole that’s on your arm, chest or leg, you have to ask yourself what are the odds that a common pimple would be growing on your arm, chest or leg.

If you notice this situation occurring on your face, however, it’s more likely to be a simple pimple than if it were on your leg, arm or some other place where oily blemishes are rare.

However, location doesn’t rule out the possibility of cancer.

“A pimple can form in a mole and that would not necessarily indicate cancer,” begins Dr. Steven Musick, MD, a board certified dermatologist who runs Musick Dermatology, LLC, in Swansea, IL, which provides state-of-the-art medical and surgical care for all disorders of the skin, hair and nails.

“However, any change to a mole could be a sign of the mole being cancer. If the change is obviously a pimple and rapidly resolves as a pimple would, then that would be less concerning for cancer.”

A pimple should go away within two weeks.

“However, a change to a mole that persists or recurs is more concerning for cancer and should prompt a patient to seek evaluation by a qualified dermatologist.”

What appears to be a pimple growing inside a mole can be a melanoma or a basal cell carcinoma.

Both types of skin cancer can strongly resemble a common pimple.

Not all melanomas look like black erratically bordered moles. Some melanomas present as flesh or pink colored tiny bumps that can look like a common blemish.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in the world, yet is extremely slow growing, and even if left untreated, will likely never spread to other parts of the body.

However, if neglected for too long, this could result in local destruction of tissue, requiring extensive resection, healing time and permanent and noticeable scars.

Keep an eye on that pimple thing growing inside your mole. If after 10 days it’s still there, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Steven Musick, MD

Steven Musick, MD

Since 2008 Musick Dermatology & Advanced Clinical Spa has been providing state-of-the-art medical and surgical care for all disorders of the skin, hair and nails.
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.  



Top image: Shutterstock/Evgeny Atamanenko