Do you have moles with hair growing out of them? Many people do, and they don’t like the way they look. Is it dangerous to pluck mole hairs? Find out.
Do you have a mole with hair growing out of it? Lots of people do, and some brave souls pluck the hair out of their moles using a pair of tweezers. Is it really a good idea to pluck mole hairs? More importantly, can it increase the risk of a mole becoming a malignant melanoma?
Moles with Hair: Is Hair Growing From a Mole a Bad Sign?
As a generalization, moles with hair are less likely to become malignant than moles without hair -especially if the mole is raised. Raised moles with hair growing out of them are less likely to become malignant melanomas than flat moles without hair. Of course, this is only a generalization. There are exceptions to the rule – where hair grows out of a malignant melanoma, but statistically a mole with hair growing out of it is less likely to be malignant.
Is It Safe to Pluck Mole Hair?
According to Dr. Bernard Cohen, chairman of dermatology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, plucking mole hair is unlikely to cause a benign mole to become a cancer although it may cause some local irritation.
On the other hand, shaving or plucking a mole isn’t a long-term solution since the hair will likely grow back. If the hair bothers you, it’s best to get the mole completely excised. Another option that causes less irritation than plucking is to trim the mole with hair using manicure scissors to make the hair less obvious.
Watch Your Moles – Even a Mole with Hair
Anytime a mole undergoes a change in size or color or starts to bleed, crust or itch – see a dermatologist right away. These can be signs of a mole undergoing malignant transformation. Seventy percent of all malignant melanomas come from pre-existing moles, so it’s important to have them checked yearly by a dermatologist and examine them at home on a regular basis.
Plucking Hair from Moles: The Bottom Line?
There’s no evidence that plucking a hair growing from a mole increases the risk of malignant melanoma, but it can cause local irritation. Try trimming the hair with manicure scissors instead, or if it really bothers you, have a dermatologist completely remove it.
Boston.com. “Does pulling hair out of a mole turn it cancerous?”
Merck Manual. Eighteen edition. 2006.