There is a lot of confusion about moles. It is a Mexican sauce, a spy, an animal, something to do with science measurement and of course, a feature of our skin.

Even if we know that it is an area on our skin made dark by a high concentration of melanin, people tend to mistake freckles with moles: Well, I am honest that was me before starting this job too.

So, how do you know what is what?

It is important to understand what you have on your body, especially when using Skin Analytics. Our system is designed to track moles and will generally not perform as well if you are tracking freckles for example. Or keyboards, though we have a surprising number of keyboard photos sent to us.

There is a very good website here to guide you through, but I will try to summarise the most important features.

Freckles come in groups, are light in colour and can appear and disappear according to sun exposure. They are benign, beautiful and do not have to be tracked.

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Lentigines are small, dark and well defined. They don’t change colour. Lentigines are harmless and don’t really have to be tracked.

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Skin tags are flesh-coloured growths that hang off the skin. They are usually small but can be as big as 5 cm or more. They are harmless and tend to fall off over time.

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Age spots (liver spots) are big patches of light brown colour that usually appear in group after a certain age. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about that… we all get older after all and they add a certain sense of distinction in my opinion.

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Moles are patches on the skin that are often light to dark brown in colour, though sometimes they can be close to your normal skin colour.

They can appear everywhere on the body and they usually don’t change in adults unless they are becoming sinister. If they are changing, then you need to see a medical professional to investigate further.

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So for that reason, moles have to be tracked, especially the ones that differ from the others on your body in colour or shape.

It doesn’t matter how you track them, just make sure you keep an eye on them. Obviously we believe we provide the best way to do that but if you don’t agree, find a way that suits you.

Most importantly of course, if you feel a mole is different, not quite right or it is bleeding or itching, go see your doctor to check it out. Don’t be shy, that is what they are there for.