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Is An Itchy Mole A Cause For Concern?

Is An Itchy Mole A Cause For Concern?

Moles on a womans back

If you have an itchy mole, it can be alarming as there are many myths (and in some cases truth) that an itchy mole can be a sign of skin cancer. But before you panic it’s important to understand that sometimes an itchy mole can be caused by something as simple as a change in laundry detergent. 

Below we will explain, How to identify which mole you have, What does an itchy mole mean, If they are a sign of skin cancer and when you should book an appointment to have them checked. 

Key Takeaways

  • Not All Itchy Moles Are Cancerous: Itchiness in a mole can be caused by benign factors like friction from clothing, dryness, or irritation from skincare products. However, persistent itching, especially with other changes, should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
  • The “ABCDE” Rule for Spotting Melanoma: Use the “ABCDE” rule to assess moles: Asymmetry, irregular Borders, variations in Color, Diameter larger than 6 mm, and signs of Evolving. If a mole shows these characteristics, it could indicate a higher risk of skin cancer.
  • Regular Self-Exams and Medical Consultations Are Essential: Conduct monthly self-exams to monitor your moles, and consult a dermatologist if you notice any significant changes or new symptoms like bleeding or crusting. Early detection is key for effective treatment of skin cancers.

Table of Contents

Common And Atypical Moles

A woman having a mole check by a dermatologist

Moles are common skin growths, typically appearing as small, dark spots caused by clusters of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Common moles, also known as “nevi,” are generally symmetrical, uniform in colour, and have smooth edges. They are benign and rarely lead to cancer. Most people have between 10 and 40 common moles, and they can appear anywhere on the body.

Asymmetrical moles on the other hand, are moles that don’t have the typical characteristics of common moles. They may have irregular shapes, uneven colouring, and jagged or blurry edges that blend in with the skin. Asymmetrical moles can be a sign of atypical nevi or dysplastic moles, which have a higher risk of turning into melanoma, a type of skin cancer. 

Regular monitoring and medical evaluation are important for asymmetrical moles to detect any changes early and to assess their cancer risk. If there is concern about a mole’s appearance or changes over time, it is crucial to seek professional advice from a dermatologist.

Why Does My Mole Itch

Firstly, it’s important to not panic. There are many reasons behind why a mole can be itchy. 

In most cases, moles can itch due to benign reasons like friction from clothing, dryness, or mild irritation. For instance, a mole located in an area that frequently rubs against clothing or jewellery might experience occasional itchiness.

However, there is a possibility of a more serious reason behind an itchy mole. This can be detected at an appointment with a skin dermatologist. To investigate your mole at home we have put together a checklist using the common A,B,C,D,E for moles and an explainer video to go with it .

At Home Mole Check List For Cancer Detection

A-B-C-D-E Mole Check


Check if the mole has an asymmetrical shape. If you imagine a line through the middle, do the two halves look different?


Examine the edges of the mole. Are they irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred? Normal moles typically have smooth, even borders.


Observe the mole’s colour. Does it have multiple shades or uneven colouring? Look for variations like brown, black, tan, red, blue, or white.


Measure the size of the mole. Is it larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)? Although smaller moles can also be concerning, larger moles have a higher risk of being malignant.


Monitor changes in the mole over time. Is it growing, changing shape, darkening, becoming raised, or developing new symptoms (like itching or bleeding)?

Additional Considerations:

New Moles:

If a new mole appears after age 30 or 35, it might be a cause for concern, especially if it exhibits any of the ABCDE characteristics.

Itchiness, Bleeding, or Crusting:

A mole that itches, bleeds, or develops a crusty texture might need evaluation.

Family History of Skin Cancer:

If there’s a history of melanoma or other skin cancers in your family, be especially vigilant and conduct regular checks.

Regular Self-Exams:

Consider conducting self-exams monthly to track any changes in your moles or skin condition. Use a full-length mirror and a hand mirror for hard-to-see areas.

If you find any concerning signs on this checklist, consult with a dermatologist for a thorough examination and advice on the best course of action. Early detection and prompt treatment are key to managing potential skin cancers effectively.

Treatments For Moles

Aventus clinic assessment

If your mole is concerning you, we offer a free online mole assessment, you can send us a photo of your mole and our dermatologists will advise on your mole. 

We have a wide range of treatments available for your moles including:

Mole Check – Our dermatologist will examine and map your moles, discussing your potential risk of skin cancer. If a mole is suspected of being cancerous, we can arrange the mole to be sent off to be screened. 

Mole Removal – For moles that are causing problems, or if you are not happy with their appearance. We offer safe and effective mole removal, which is a painless procedure typically carried out in under 15 mins. 


An itchy mole doesn’t always indicate a serious problem, but it can be a cause for concern, especially if accompanied by other changes like asymmetry, irregular borders, varied colour, large diameter, or evolving shape. Before panicking, consider that mild irritation, friction from clothing, or dryness can cause itchiness. However, it’s essential to monitor moles for changes and consult a dermatologist if there are any signs of concern. Early detection and treatment are crucial for managing potential skin cancers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Moles can itch due to benign reasons like friction from clothing, dryness, or mild irritation. However, persistent itchiness could be a sign of more serious conditions, warranting a dermatologist's examination.

The "ABCDE" rule stands for Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving. It is a guideline used to identify potentially cancerous moles. Any significant changes in these characteristics should be checked by a dermatologist.

Seek medical advice if a mole is persistently itchy, shows changes in shape, size, or colour, has irregular borders, or displays other unusual signs like bleeding or crusting.

Mole removal is a simple and painless procedure, typically completed in under 15 minutes. It's used for moles that cause discomfort or aesthetic concerns, or if there's a suspicion of cancer. A dermatologist removes the mole and can send it for further analysis if needed.

You can use the "ABCDE" rule to assess your moles at home, checking for Asymmetry, irregular Borders, variations in Color, Diameter larger than 6 mm, and signs of Evolving. Regular self-exams are recommended, and it's crucial to seek professional advice if you notice any concerning changes.

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