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Small Red Mole on Skin

by
author image Carolyn Williams
Carolyn Williams began writing and editing professionally over 20 years ago. Her work appears on various websites. An avid traveler, swimmer and golf enthusiast, Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary's College of California.
Small Red Mole on Skin
A doctor checks the moles on a woman's back. Photo Credit miriam-doerr/iStock/Getty Images

Moles may be a normal part of your skin and come in a variety of colors, including red. In addition, small, red moles may appear on your skin in response to certain medications. Any moles that change color should be examined by a medical professional as changes in color may indicate emerging serious health conditions.

Types

Moles can vary in color, from white to black and dark brown to red, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These types of moles are not significant in terms of your overall health. If your dermatologist tells you that you have atypical nevus or dysplastic nevus, don't be alarmed. Both are technical terms that mean you have a mole that varies in appearance from a standard mole. These moles have a higher tendency to become cancerous, however, so you should schedule yearly exams to keep an eye on your health, the Mayo Clinic recommends.

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Significance

Check your moles on a regular basis. While most moles are not symptomatic of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, some are. Moles that suddenly turn red or have one area that becomes red need immediate attention, regardless of size or the amount of color change. Your doctor may need to take a biopsy, where a portion of the mole -- or all of the mole, is removed and sent to lab for testing. Red moles are not more prone to cancer than other moles, according to Mayo Clinic.

Time Frame

Most moles develop by the time you are 20, according to the Mayo Clinic. A small red mole that appears after you reach 20 is not necessarily cause for concern. But if the mole is itchy, painful, crusted or oozing or suddenly becomes red, seek a doctor's opinion, Mayo Clinic recommends.

Considerations

If you suddenly develop a small, red mole on the skin, it could be due to a side effect of medication. Pimecrolimus, a cream prescribed to treat atopic dermatitis, can cause small, red moles to appear in the treated area. Contact your doctor for advice on whether to continue treatment or switch to an alternate medication.

Prevention/Solution

To minimize the growth or creation of moles, practice good sun protection, according to the Mayo Clinic. While small, red moles may not be dangerous to your health, they can be unsightly. Wear a hat and long sleeves. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Use a wide-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin when your outdoors.

If the mole is distracting or uncomfortable, such as in an area that you regularly shave, have your dermatologist remove it to avoid constant irritation and minimize the risk of cancer growth, the Mayo Clinic recommends.

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