Freckle, Beauty Spot or Mole?

We are now a lot more aware of the danger of worrying skin blemishes, but it is not always easy to work out whether you have a harmless freckle, a larger sun spot or a mole. 

Dr Ross Perry was recently interviewed by Dazed Beauty about moles. He explains:

“Moles tend to be raised or flat and can be colourless or coloured, whereas a freckle is lightly coloured brown that sits on the surface of the skin. A beauty spot is dark coloured cells that are deep in the skin.

“All have the potential to change into something more sinister so they need to be monitored for obvious changes in colour, size, and shape.”

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Freckle, Beauty Spot or Mole?

To help you identify, here’s a checklist.

Characteristics of Freckles

  • Light brown or beige
  • Sit on the skin’s surface
  • Tend to react to sun exposure, getting darker as pigmentation is increased
  • There will be multiple freckles
  • They tend to appear more on areas exposed to the sun i.e. face, chest, shoulders
  • Especially common in those with reddish hair and paler skin

Characteristics of Beauty Spots

  • Darker colour
  • Goes deeper in the skin
  • Likely to be one
  • Beauty spots are actually moles
  • The term beauty spot (or beauty mark) implies that it is aesthetically advantageous. Think Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford and a host of other icons whose facial moles made them all the more unique
  • Tend to appear in a noticeable place, usually facial

Characteristics of Moles

  • Moles can be incredibly varied! Flat or raised, dark or light, small or large
  • Not necessarily aesthetic, they can be loved or unwanted by their owners
  • Can appear anywhere on the face or body
  • A person may have very few or quite a lot (although rarely as many as freckles, which can be very numerous)
  • Cluster of cells which go deeper into the skin

Are Moles and Beauty Spots a Problem?

Usually beauty spots and moles are ‘benign’ which means they’re medically harmless. If someone doesn’t like having a mole, that would be considered a ‘cosmetic’ problem. But if there is cause for concern about any mole, then it would be referred to as worrying or suspicious and be a ‘medical’ problem.

There are a few indicators of a problem mole to watch for:

  • Asymmetry – uneven shape
  • Borders – jagged
  • Colour – odd or unusual tones
  • Diameter – larger than a pencil end and/or growing quickly
  • Evolution – changing in terms of look or behaviour

If you are concerned that a mole is abnormal, don’t ignore the ‘hunch’. Get it checked out by a doctor. Most moles are harmless so it should hopefully put your mind at rest, but for those that do need treatment, starting as soon as possible gives the best results and outcomes for the patient.

Skin Surgery Laser Clinics

Dr Ross Perry is a qualified and experienced London GP, who founded Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003, an independent company specialising in skin treatments such as removal of lesions/blemishes.

Cosmedics’ Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

Our team of qualified and experienced doctors and surgeons also treat other skin blemishes, including sebaceous cysts, skin tags, warts and lipoma using  freezing, laser or surgical techniques.

For ultimate peace of mind, Cosmedics Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer a thorough top to toe mole check carried out by their trained and experienced doctors.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.