Red Moles

Moles are darkened patches of skin, usually circular in shape, that appear in various spots on most people’s bodies. The patch might be brown or red and might look very similar to a larger, darker freckle. Though red moles are often no different than their brown counterparts, there are instances in which red moles signify a skin problem. In extreme cases, red moles can be a sign of cancer. Read on to find out what causes red moles and when to seek medical attention because of a red mole.

Causes of Red Moles

There are several different types of red moles.



Cherry Hemangiomas

Cherry hemangiomas, also called senile angiomas, cherry angiomas and Campbell de Morgan spots, are an abnormal growth of blood vessels. They have a red or purple hue, range in size from one to four mm in size, and usually develop on the heels, armpits, legs, back, chest and genitals.

Intradermal Melanocytic Nevi

These moles are the most common type. They have little pigmentation and are slightly raised. They are typically pink or light red and maintain basically the same shape for a person’s entire life.

Pyogenic Granulomas

This type of mole causes people to rush to their doctor’s office, but they are harmless. They tend to bleed and are softer than other moles, and many people choose to have them surgically removed.

Red Moles Triggered by Melanoma

These are cancerous moles that often have a suspicious appearance. If you suspect your red mole is a sign of melanoma, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Other Causes

There are several other things that can cause red moles to appear on the skin, including heredity, sun exposure, aging and fluctuations in hormones.

Diagnosis of Red Moles

If you suspect a mole could be cancerous, you should schedule a consultation with your doctor as soon as possible. There are several factors to consider when determining if a mole is problematic. To determine if a red mole is suspicious, consider its:

  • Asymmetry. Asymmetrical moles are often cancerous. If one side of the mole is different than the other, you should consult your doctor about the issue.
  • Borders. Moles with irregular or jagged borders are often malignant. This issue is similar to asymmetry, but it could occur around the entire mole. Healthy moles are mostly circular in shape.
  • Color. Moles that remain the same color over time are usually non-cancerous. If you notice a mole darkening, it could be a problem.
  • Diameter. Non-cancerous moles are usually quite small. Larger moles or moles that change size over time might indicate an issue. You should also be concerned if a small mole increases in size over time or changes in any other way.
  • Elevation. Moles are often elevated, but if the elevation seems unusual, changes over time, or is in combination with the suspicious characteristics listed above, you should seek a doctor’s attention.

Removal of Noncancerous Red Moles

Once a mole is evaluated and deemed non-cancerous, you can choose whether or not and how you wish to remove it. The treatments listed below are not approved by the FDA, so consult your doctor before taking action.

1. Home Remedies

  • Tea Tree Oil and Olive Oil. Mix 1 tablespoon tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons olive oil and massage the mixture into the mole. Allow the mixture to dry on the skin and reapply as often as needed.
  • Eucalyptus oil an Jojoba Oil. Combine ½ teaspoon eucalyptus oil and 4 teaspoon jojoba oil and massage into the skin. Let the mixture sit on the skin for 30 minutes and rinse with clean water. If you experience no negative reaction to the oils, you can use this treatment daily for up to 30 days.
  • Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar. Combine 1 tablespoon honey and ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar and massage in a thick layer onto the mole. Leave the mixture on the skin for 20 minutes and rinse with cool water. This mixture can be used daily, as long as you experience no negative reaction, for up to five days.
  • Others. Other applications that help lighten moles naturally include pineapple, lemon, and jojoba oil; baking soda, lime juice, and banana paste; and grapefruit, fig, and coconut oil.

2. Medical Treatment

There are several medical treatments available to lighten or remove red moles from the skin. These include:

  • Laser surgery
  • Liquid nitrogen
  • OTC mole remover, also used for warts and skin tags

If you are concerned about which of these options is right for you, speak to your doctor. If he or she has any concerns about a mole on your body, you will likely be advised to have the mole removed. Removal is typically an in-office procedure that is quick and pain-free.

When to See a Doctor

For most people, red moles are not cancerous and are just a normal skin phenomenon. However, if you suspect something might be unusual, it is better to consult your doctor. If your doctor recommends removal, treatment, or monitoring the mole for changes, follow through and take care of the issue as soon as possible.

  • Early detection is the best way to prevent treatable pre-cancer and skin cancer from becoming more of an issue. If a red mole oozes, bleeds, is painful, or exhibits any other unusual symptoms, schedule a consultation with your doctor immediately.
  • Skin cancer is often very aggressive and can progress at a very fast rate. The sooner you seek medical attention the better your odds of successful treatment and no further issues.