Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Can blackheads form on top of moles?"
Is it possible for a blackhead to form on a mole? I'm a woman and I have a large mole on my temple that doesn't usually bother me but recently it has been kind of tender, and it looks like there's a blocked pore right in the center of it. How can I get rid of that?
Moles and blackheads are both common medical problems. At times they require medical treatment and, in these cases, both your primary care physician and your dermatologist are well qualified to discuss this issue with you. Blackheads are form of acne caused when the pore becomes clogged by dead skin debris but remains open so pus does not collect (whiteheads). Moles (nevi) are collections of specialized pigmented cells called melanocytes in small groups beneath the surface of the skin. Both conditions are generally benign. Blackheads can occur within moles, as they can occur within any other surface of the skin. Treatment is not generally different than for other types of blackheads. If the area becomes swollen or looks infected, in may require evaluation by your doctor. Occasionally moles can transform into a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. Moles that are larger than 6 mm, raised, irregular at the borders, growing rapidly, or contain multiple colors are most concerning. In particular it will be important for your physician to ensure that the area of color change you see in the mole is indeed a blackhead and not a change in the color or character of the mole itself. As always, the diagnosis and management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your dermatologist or with your primary care physician is recommended.
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