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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I am a 21 year old female who has suddenly had small moles

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I am a 21 year old female who has suddenly had small moles popping up in various areas such as arms,legs, and on my hand..they are not unusual looking just small moles..but they are raised. Very concerned and any and all help is appreciated! I'm very afraid there could be an underlying problem. I do not tan, and I do not get out in the sun at all. I am fair skinned with a few freckles. I'm terrified..what could this be??

Moles continue to develop as we mature, especially in our late teens and early twenties. This is especially true if there is a family history of moles or your skin type predisposes to mole formation. They tend to stop developing after age 40.

The important thing if you are worried if to have the moles checked for type and appearance at a dermatologist. Dysplastic naevi is the term we use to describe some types of moles which have an increased risk of developing into melanoma. If you do not go out into the sun then your risk of cancer is much reduced however even childhood episodes of sunburn can increase possibility of UV damage and therefore increase overall lifetime risk of changes.

Moles can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors as well as being flat or raised however only a visual inspection can confirm that these are typical moles. Anything that looks atypical can be removed and tested.

So if the moles are small, even colored with no bleeding or crusting then these are likely to be normal mole but as you have raised the concern, make an appointment with a dermatologist for reassurance.

Have a look at this site: here and here

Pauline and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
even though approx 10 nowdeveloped in a one month period thats still normal?
Early twenties are a common time for new moles to appear. Do you want to post a digital picture of some of your moles so that I can have a look?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
well I don't suppose b/c they are normal looking, just small raised dots of light brown like any other i've ever just scared me so bad b/c they developed so quickly when I never get out in the no underlying illness can cause this?

Without seeing them it is difficult to be exact, however development of normal moles is not normally a concern. Also you mentioned that they were raised, which actually is a good sign that they are not superficial melanoma which tend to be flat. Also melanoma often take a year or more to develop cancerous lesions.

For peace of mind, make an appointment to see your doctor just to have this confirmed. He can also look in places such as your back and back of your thighs too.

With fair skin that does not tan, you belong to a patient group which has increased tendency to moles. Moles need to be monitored over the years for changes, especially if there is a family history of dysplastic naevi and ideally taking photographs now will give you a baseline to compare against in the future.

Bear in mind, that the vast majority of moles are entirely benign as if you continue to look after your skin, there should be no need to worry long term.