What Is A Bleeding Mole?
It is quite common for everyone to have moles in some part of the body or the other. Moles are small dark colored spots on the skin and are quite harmless unless they start to change in their characteristics such as a change in their color, shape, or size. It is quite common for babies to be born with moles. It is also quite common for new moles to appear especially in children and adolescents. Some moles fade away on their own with age. Sometimes, the moles become dark in color. This happens generally in females who are pregnant. This is also quite common and there is nothing to worry about.[1,2,3]
However, sometimes moles start bleeding. If there is an identifiable cause for the bleeding then there is nothing to worry about. However, if there is no source found for the reason of the bleeding then it may be a sign of skin cancer and this should be thoroughly investigated.[1,2,3]
In general, adults have anywhere between 10 to 40 moles in the body. It is seen more in people with lighter skin and less so in dark skinned people. It is common for the moles to change in shape and color with age. A mole can grow anywhere in the body right from the scalp to even under the fingernails.[1,2,3] This article highlights some of the causes for a bleeding mole and what can be done about it.
What Causes A Bleeding Mole?
The most common cause for a bleeding mole is when they get caught on things like jewelry. This roughens them up and they start to bleed. This happens to moles that are raised and slightly large. Sometimes, the moles get itchy causing the person to scratch on it causing it to bleed. A bleeding mole can get quite painful and discomforting but it is quite easy to treat them. However, if as mole starts bleeding without any apparent reason then it is a cause to worry.[2,3]
In such cases, the mole will appear more like a bruise or a sore and this is a classic sign of skin cancer or melanoma which needs to be checked out by a physician.
Sometimes, melanomas appear similar to moles or even develop from existing moles. Melanoma is a condition that is treatable if it is detected and treated in its early stages. A person should get checked up with a physician if a mole starts to bleed and the mole on the whole looks asymmetric and has irregular borders.[2,3]
If the color of the mole also changes with it being brown, black, or red then also it is a warning sign and needs to be checked out. If a mole is actually a melanoma then it will be more than 6 mm in diameter and this should also be looked at by the person if the mole starts to bleed. If a bleeding mole is markedly different from other moles of the body in shape, size, and color then it is also a sign of a melanoma.[2,3]
Additionally, if a mole is actually a melanoma then there will be spontaneous bleeding along with non healing sores, erythema spreading outside of the border of the mole. There will be itching and the area of the mole will be tender to touch. The person will also complain of other symptoms like blurred vision or dark spots in the iris. Such symptoms should be checked out with a physician to rule out melanoma and if present treatment for it should be started immediately.[2,3]
What Can Be Done About A Bleeding Mole?
If a bleeding mole is caused due to it being caught on things then standard first aid treatment is enough for the bleeding to stop. This involves covering the mole with sterile dressing and applying slight pressure to stop the bleeding. Aside from this, there is no specific treatment required for such bleeding moles. In case if a physician is suspicious of a bleeding mole then he may prefer to remove the mole and test it for presence of any cancerous cells.[2,3]
Some people prefer to get a bleeding mole or a bothersome mole completely removed. Some people want to get moles removed purely for cosmetic reasons. Some people try to remove a bleeding mole at home. This however has been ill-advised by the American Association of Dermatologists as if the mole contains cancer cells then all the cells may not be removed and may start spreading. Another reason is that removing moles with improper equipment may cause skin infections and scarring.[2,3]
There are some steps that can be taken to prevent melanomas which will automatically prevent bleeding moles. These steps include avoiding direct exposure to sunlight especially in the afternoons in hot summer weather conditions. Using sunscreen to protect the skin is also quite beneficial against UV rays of the sun.[2,3]
In conclusion, majority of the cases bleeding moles are benign and completely harmless and are caused by the moles getting caught or cut by objects. They do not require any specific treatment and just standard first aid is good enough to stop those. However, if a mole starts to bleed for no reason then this should be checked up with a physician to look for other signs of skin cancer.[1,2,3]
If a melanoma is diagnosed and detected early then the prognosis for the condition is quite good. Thus, a person with a bleeding mole needs to look out for other signs of skin cancer especially if the mole starts to bleed without any apparent reason.[1,2,3]