Are your hairy moles cancerous?

They mightn’t be your most attractive feature, but your hairy moles has a few redeeming qualities when it comes to your skin health.

Moles with hair growing out of them aren’t generally cancerous. In fact, one dermatologist admits he’s never come across a hairy mole that’s been abnormal.

Read more: Eight things you might not know about your moles

Apple Bodemer, a dermatologist in the United States, says cancer doesn’t grow normal structures, and hair is a normal growth process.

What that means is that if you have a mole and it was located above a healthy hair follicle, the hair would simply grow through the mole. However, if there was a developing skin cancer damaging the area, chances are it would harm the hair follicle and your hair wouldn’t be able to grow.

Ad. Article continues below.

That said, ‘hair-no hair’ is not a foolproof method of checking for cancer.

The most concerning and deadly type of skin cancer is melanoma and it can develop from an already existing mole that undergoes cancerous changes.

Even a healthy mole with hair sticking out of it can become cancerous, and in such cases you would notice that the hair stops growing.

Read more: How to tell if your growth is something to be concerned about

When then should you worry about your hairy mole?

Ad. Article continues below.

It goes without saying that if there’s a dark mark or mole on your skin you have concerns about you need to discuss it with a doctor. (When it comes to melanoma, the early you detect it the more beneficial it can be.)

There are also things you can be doing to keep ahead of the skin cancer game.

  • Check the asymmetry of your mole.
  • Look for any colour variations.
  • Keep an eye on changing features of your mole.
  • Is your mole large in size?
  • Does your mole have an irregular border?
  • Are there any moles that look different to others on your body?

Spending just 5 minutes a month looking at your skin and your moles while paying particular attention to the list above is a strong tool to catching skin cancer early. By getting familiar with the moles you have, you’ll have a better idea of when something is new or different.

How often do you get your skin checked? Have you ever had skin cancers removed from your body or face? What precautions do you recommend?