Whether you call it a beauty mark or a mole, the pigmented spot is uglier if there is a hair growing out of it. These dark spots or bumps are caused from a type of cells called melanocytes. When a group of the cells clusters together, a small, dark area is formed and it is commonly called a mole. Sometimes, you may find hairs growing out of moles.
Why Do Moles Grow Hair?
If a mole appears in an area that has skin follicles, such as the arm, scalp, genitals, eyebrows or legs, there may be hairs growing out of it. It is all up to the mole location. Some mole hairs are finer, shorter and usually lighter in color, but dark, long and thick hairs can also be found in moles.
Are Hairy Moles Dangerous?
There is a common misconception that a mole with hair is more likely to indicate a serious problem such as melanoma. Truthfully, dermatologists have shown that moles with hair are not more likely to be trouble than moles without hair. In fact, the hair may be a good sign. It may indicate the mole is non-cancerous because a malignant mole cannot grow hair. Cancer destroys hair follicles.
When to Worry Your Moles
There is an adage that goes around to help people discern if they should be concerned with their moles and it’s called "ABCDE". This stands for some of the factors you need to take into consideration when looking at your mole.
- Asymmetry. Asymmetry is not a good sign when it comes to mole health.
- Border Irregularity. When edges are ragged, blurred or notched, there may be a problem.
- Color. When color isn’t the same across the mole and different shades of brown, black or tan are present, there may be an issue.
- Diameter. If the mole is 0.2 inch or larger, then it is a concern.
- Evolution. If there is a change in shape, size or symptoms,or it becomes tender, itchy or bloody, be careful.
Can You Remove Hair from Moles?
Why do moles grow hair? Because there are skin follicles. Then is it dangerous to remove the hair? The truth is that there isn’t evidence that removing the hair, either by shaving, plucking or waxing, can cause the mole to become cancerous. It is important to note that hair removal, particularly plucking, can expose you to infection or inflammation. Be sure to wash the area before and after removal with a disinfectant to help prevent germs from entering the gland.
Can You Use Laser for Hair Removal?
If you are using traditional lasers to seek out the hair, you will run into trouble. These machines seek a dark hair set against light skin and then destroy the hair follicle. With a mole involved, the skin is already dark and the hair won’t contrast against it.
There is, however, advanced laser technology such as Soprano systems that can be used with dark skin and hair. You can speak with a laser hair removal specialist to be sure the treatment will work as desired.
Is Electrolysis Safe for Permanent Mole Hair Removal?
For the most part, using electrolysis for hair removal is simple and safe. You can speak with an electrologist to get the most current set of tips because regulations will vary from state to state. There are some states that require a doctor’s approval before treatment. An electrologist may refer you to a dermatologist or other specialists to insure the mole is not cancerous.
Mole Removal and Aftercare
Instead of just wondering "Why do moles grow hair?" you may consider removing the mole itself. To remove your mole, you should first consult with a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or oncologist to accurately decide what is the character of the mole. Removal is only allowed when your doctor has decided the mole is benign. It is important to remember that removing moles on your own is dangerous.
Methods of Removal
There are several different ways your doctor may decide on when removing your mole and they include:
- Cryodestruction – This is when a chemical such as liquid nitrogen is involved to remove the mole.
- Radio Waves –This is an unobtrusive method where affected areas are processed.
- Electrocoagulation – The mole removal procedure uses high temperatures to remove the mole. Often, there is a scar left.
- Laser Removal – Mole removal using a laser is done when people wish to avoid scars.
- Surgical Removal – This method of mole removal is rarely used because of the side effects.
When a mole is removed, a dark scab will form. It is recommended to keep the area protected from water and cosmetic products for five days. By this time, a thin, sensitive layer of skin will develop. If scab is removed too early – before the epidermis is formed, you are more likely to develop a scar.