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Moles on African American Skin

by
author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
Moles on African American Skin
Some African-Americans can develop benign flesh moles. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Moles can be alarming. While most pose no threat to your health, some can turn malignant and cause skin cancer. If you are an African American, you can also develop a type of mole that is different from those typically seen in other types of skin. Being able to identify and understand these moles can help you feel more at ease with your skin condition and let you know what to watch out for.

Skin Type

African American skin is unique from other skin types in its high occurrence of certain conditions. If you are African American, it is important to be aware of your skin type and what kind of growths to look out for. The moles that develop on African American skin can be different from the moles on a different skin type, and you may need to approach and treat them differently.

Nevi

Nevi are the most common types of moles found on the skin, and they develop in black skin as well as other skin types. An African American may have more trouble noticing these moles, though, since they are less visible against dark skin -- particularly if the moles are small. These moles may be flat or raised and can vary in size, but in most cases they are benign and require no treatment.

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Flesh Moles

According to the American Academy or Dermatology, flesh moles appear almost exclusively in African Americans, and the majority of cases are found in women. These moles are small, dark dots that appear often on the cheeks and may resemble moles. There is no risk involved with flesh warts, although many people prefer to have them removed for cosmetic purposes.

Treatments

Moles can be removed a number of ways. Some are frozen off the skin, while others are cut out. These treatments need to be performed by a doctor to prevent scarring of the skin. There are no topical at-home treatments that can help eliminate moles. Most treatments are done for cosmetic reasons unless the mole is at risk to be cancerous.

Considerations

The biggest concern with skin moles is the risk of one or more turning malignant. This can be seen topically when a mole becomes misshapen, discolored, shows altered borders or grows to a size larger than a pencil eraser, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you notice this development in a mole, visit your doctor to have the mole examined and possibly removed.

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References

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