Moles are spots on the skin that can range in size, shape and color. A baby can be born with a mole, called a birthmark mole or congenital nevus, or develop a mole in his early years of life. A mole can be a concern for parents because, although most moles are not dangerous, some moles can develop into melanoma, according to Baby Center.
Origins and Prevention
Moles can be the result of genetics or of too much exposure to the sun, according to Baby Center. Keep your baby inside during peak daylight hours and apply sunscreen to your baby's skin before taking her outside if she is older than six months. You can also protect your baby from too much exposure to sunlight by playing in areas with ample shade and by dressing her in light long-sleeved shirts, pants and a hat with a wide brim.
Small moles on your baby's skin can be common, but larger moles, or giant pigmented nevi, are rare and have the potential to become malignant, according to What To Expect. Giant congenital nevi can be present on your baby's skin at birth or develop within the first year of your baby's life, according to Derma Doctor. A birthmark mole is more prone than an acquired mole to developing melanoma, according to Baby Center. A doctor should examine any moles on your baby's skin and refer you to a dermatologist if she believes the moles require further evaluation.
Baby Center suggests monitoring any mole on your baby's skin for warning signs known as the ABCDs: asymmetry, border, color and diameter. An asymmetrical mole can be an atypical mole, or dysplastic nevus, and is at risk of developing melanoma. The border of the mole can be blurry, notched or ragged. An atypical mole often contains several colors such as black, brown or tan instead of appearing as a solid color. If the diameter of the mole is larger than about 1.5 centimeters, your baby could be at risk, according to Derma Doctor. See a doctor if the mole exhibits any of the ABCDs and if you notice that the area of the mole continues to spread.
Bathing Trunk Nevi
Large moles near your baby's midline or spinal area should be examined by a doctor. Giant congenital nevi on the baby's lower back or sacral area are known as bathing trunk nevi and are at high risk of developing neurocutaneous melanosis because they can be symptoms of an abnormality in the central nervous system, according to Derma Doctor.
A doctor may recommend removing the mole if he believes there is a risk to your baby’s health. If the mole isn't an immediate threat, then removing the mole may be necessary when your child reaches puberty because the changing hormones in her body can increase the risk of melanoma, according to Derma Doctor. Bathing trunk nevi often appear within a baby's first two years of life and may require treatment by flaps, grafts or tissue expansion.