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What should I do if I have a bleeding or itchy mole?

Bleeding or itchy moles can occur when they have been irritated or scratched – moles catching on clothing, being cut by a razor, makeup application, scratching an insect bite and hair removal are all very common triggers.

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What should I do if I have a bleeding or itchy mole?

Bleeding or itchy moles can occur when they have been irritated or scratched – moles catching on clothing, being cut by a razor, makeup application, scratching an insect bite and hair removal are all very common triggers. However, these are also signs that the mole is cancerous.

There are definite signs that a mole could be a melanoma and individuals should seek immediate advice from a dermatologist. If you have a new mole or a change in your moles such as bleeding, changes in shape, size or colour, itchy or painful moles- it's imperative that you seek medical advice at the earliest possible stage.

Patients should be vigilant in having moles checked annually or as advised by your dermatologist if you have a history of previously abnormal naevi (moles) or skin cancer. An early diagnosis is crucial in managing this potentially life-threatening disease; skin cancer which is detected and removed early is almost always curable.

Is it bad if a mole itches?

An Itchy mole is often harmless and unlikely to be cancerous, this is because irritations from rubbing against an item of clothing can trigger the itch. However, an itchy mole can be bad if it itches excessively or even begins to bleed and crust. Any unusually itchy or bloody moles should be reported to a specialist for a check up immediately due to the possibility of skin cancer developing.

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Why is my mole so itchy?

The itch of a mole is the result of the stimulation of nerve endings resulting from inflammation, dryness or injury to the skin. An itch on a mole is rarely cancerous, sometimes however these itches can result from cancer cells irritating the nerve endings. More often than not, itches that come around suddenly and dissipate shortly after are as a result of a mild trauma to the skin and not cancerous.

You should get your mole seen immediately by a dermatologist if it is itchy, however, as a precaution.

Can scratching a mole make it cancerous?

Scratching a mole will not make it cancerous, however a cancerous mole may be more itchy than usual. Because of this, any persistent itch, irritation or bleeding from a mole should be cause for concern and a dermatologist contacted immediately in order for a cancer screening to be carried out.

What happens if you cut a mole?

If you cut a mole you may experience bleeding and vastly increase the time it takes to heal, although bleeding is most likely to occur if the mole is torn away from the skin. Removing moles yourself can be dangerous and therefore not advised due to the potential for scarring and infection.

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What happens if you pick a mole?

If you pick a mole it may start bleeding and lead to further discomfort. Picking a mole does not make it cancerous therefore individuals should not be alarmed if a mole is picked. Excessively picking a mole may prolong the mole healing process, causing an irregular shape which may resemble a melanoma.

What happens if you accidentally scratch off a mole?

Accidentally scratching off a mole is likely to cause bleeding and damage the under layer of the skin, resulting in the skin vessels becoming prone to injury. This can be painful but is unlikely to be harmful or lead to any further damage. You don’t need to be concerned about moles that are bleeding due to injury, however if the mole bleeds for no reason you should consult a dermatologist immediately.

What does a cancerous mole look like?

A cancerous mole often has a few easy signs to look out for:

  • Asymmetry - one side of the mole does not look like the other.
  • Irregular or blurry edges
  • Size: if the mole is larger in diameter to a normal mole with an inconsistent colour such as a brown fading into black or brown with pink patches.

If the above description combined with increased inflammation or itchiness is persistent in your mole, it’s important to get in contact with a dermatologist immediately.

At the Cadogan Clinic, we focus on providing comprehensive advice to individuals with regards to various mole removal treatment options, for more information with regards to our treatment options or to ask any questions, simply reach out to us via the contact form on our website or by calling us on 0207 158 0327.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Skin cancer occurs when the genetic material inside the cells changes, causing an alteration in how cells behave. They increase in size and number, leading to the development of a tumour.

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Moles are small clusters of coloured skin cells, which can form anywhere on the human body. Moles are usually harmless and people can live with them without any complications. However, moles can be cancerous, so if a mole looks suspicious it must be removed for immediate examination under a microscope (histology), to eliminate the risk of it developing further.

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The NHS and NICE guidelines recommend having your moles checked by an expert every six months – at a minimum. If you’ve had a mole removed, it’s every three months.

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