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.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.