Hi Doctors. I have a question. I have a mole that i have had for a LONG time on the cartledge on my ear. Looking back at a pic from 7 years ago it was MUCH darker. The mole is still the same shape and size, just MUCH lighter. Is this normal? Thank you for your time!
Doctor Answers (3)
Change in a mole
Many moles can change with time - most of the gradual changes are harmless. This could be a change in colour, shape or size. If the change has happened rapidly - for example, increasing in size or a change in the colour or surface of a mole within a few weeks or months - you should get it checked out. Otherwise a gradual change over seven years does not sound too sinister.
If you are very worried, please see a specialist (or at least post a good quality photograph here).
Moles Can Fade
Yes, it can be normal for a mole to fade and it actually is more common than we think. Often it is a sign that the mole is being reabsorbed by your body. Classical warning signs of skin cancer are darkening, not lightening, of the mole. Of course, nothing is ever 100% certain so there is no substitute for a physical examination by a dermatologist and skin biopsy, if indicated. If necessary, a mole on the ear can be easily removed by a "shave biopsy" and sent to the lab for microscopic examination.
This does not sound too sinister, altough any changes to a mole warrant getting it looked at. There is no substitute for a clinical examination, so if it has bothered you enough to post this question on this site, then I would say that it is worth visiting your local doctor for a face to face opinion.