Almost all teenagers and adults have moles. They generally develop during childhood through young adulthood. They are made up of nevus (mole) cells growing in the skin. Normal moles are uniform in color, and can be flat or symmetrically dome-shaped and raised. A mole present at birth is called a congenital nevus
Atypical Moles (also called Dysplastic or Clark’s Nevi)
Some people have Atypical Nevi. The cells in this type of mole are disorderly in growth, and can have some atypical features. These moles look atypical when examined pathologically (after a biopsy), and can look atypical to the eye. Although atypical moles are not themselves cancerous, they are a marker of patients who tend to have other atypical moles and are at higher risk for melanoma than patients with no atypical moles. Although melanoma can develop from an atypical mole, most atypical moles do not turn into melanoma. In general, if a clinically atypical mole is not changing and the patient and practitioner do not suspect melanoma, an atypical mole does not have to be removed (but can easily be removed if the patient is worried). If a biopsy is performed and the pathology report demonstrates an atypical mole, the majority of dermatologists would recommend that moles with moderate or severe atypia should be completely removed.