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Mole vs Blackhead: How To Tell Them Apart?

Have you ever looked in the mirror, only to be confused and concerned about an unfamiliar spot on your face? It could be a mole, or it could be a blackhead – but how can you tell the difference?

So, let’s take a look at mole vs blackhead – how to tell them apart? I’ll share how to identify moles and blackheads, as well as look into treatments for each skin condition. Read on to learn more about distinguishing which is which.

Woman doctor examining blackheads on her patient's neck

How Do Moles Develop?

Moles, or nevi, are skin growths that develop when melanocytes (cells responsible for skin pigment) form clusters in the skin layers.

Moles can appear differently depending on their age and location; they may be raised, flat, light brown or even black.

There is no known single cause of moles, but genetics play a large role in determining a person’s tendency to develop them.

Sun exposure can also cause moles to form and darken, as well as increase their size due to an accumulation of melanin-producing cells over time.

An individual’s approach to sun protection plays a large role in how many moles may develop on their skin throughout life.

In some cases, people may develop new moles as adults due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or while taking certain medications such as birth control pills.

Although most moles are benign and harmless reflections of our unique genetic makeup, it is important to keep an eye out for any strange changes.

Such as asymmetry, color variation within the mole itself or any itching/irritation surrounding it, since these can potentially be signs of something far more serious such as cancerous growths on our skin.

It is highly recommended by dermatologists to people get regular full-body scans either at home with your own hands looking out for anything suspicious.

Can Moles Disappear?

Moles are common skin growths that can disappear from the skin; however, this is not always cause for concern.

Moles appear as small, dark spots on the skin and are usually brown or black. It is normal to have moles on your body, but if they change in size, shape or color this should be a cause for concern.

If noticed changes happen with the mole, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. A regular sized mole will typically measure between 6 mm and 8 mm in diameter.

Irregular shaped moles can also be seen and these contain different colors such as red, white and blue. The color of the mole might fade over time, so much so that it eventually disappears altogether.

This could be an indication of melanoma which requires early diagnosis for treatment to begin at once.

Doctor examining moles on a patient arm

How Can Sun Exposure Influence The Formation Of Moles?

Sun exposure can influence the formation of moles in a few ways. People who have prolonged, and frequent sun exposure may find they develop more moles over time.

Sun exposure breaks down skin pigment, which can cause some existing moles to become darker. New moles may appear after sun exposure due to damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Moles form when cells known as melanocytes, which are responsible for producing melanin—the pigment that is responsible for skin color—cluster closer to the surface of the skin than usual.

Therefore, if this process is triggered by UV radiation from the sun, you may notice an increase in the number of bumps on the skin or raised areas on your skin.

These new growths may be slightly red or brown and darken with age and sun exposure. Moles can be flat or raised above the surface of the skin.

However, this does not necessarily indicate any difference in their potential risk of becoming cancerous.

If you’re concerned about changes in your mole size or shape or further mole development due to sun exposure, it’s best to see your doctor and have them assess your individual situation.

How Do Blackheads Develop?

Blackheads are a common skin concern that form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in the skin.

The medical term for blackheads is open comedones, and they occur when excess oils, sebum, dirt and bacteria become trapped in the pores.

This combination creates a blockage which can range from mild to severe depending on individual skin type. Blackheads begin as whiteheads, which are tiny bumps that form under the surface of the skin.

As more oils and bacteria build up behind the whitehead and push outward, oxygen reacts with them, causing them to turn black and oxidize.

The most common area for people to get blackheads is their nose and chin because these areas have many pores close together.

But you can get them anywhere on your body that has large enough pores for a clog to form, such as your forehead or cheeks.

Many people try to squeeze or pop their blackheads thinking it will help remove them, but this often causes inflammation or even infection as it introduces more bacteria into sensitive parts of the skin which can cause further irritation.

Treating blackhead problems involves regular deep cleansing (such as using clay masks) combined with exfoliation to reduce oil production and keep those pesky little things away.

A woman holding a magnifying glass over the top of a mole

Can Blackheads Disappear?

Blackheads can definitely disappear, but it is not always an easy or straightforward process.

Blackheads form when hair follicles become clogged with sebum, dirt and dead skin cells that collect in pores.

To get rid of blackheads, the clog pores need to be unclogged, which usually requires a few steps. Squeezing the blackhead won’t do anything and can actually irritate surrounding skin, so this should be avoided.

Instead, using a retinoid cream or gel on the area will help exfoliate the skin to remove any blockage from pores as well as reduce inflammation associated with other forms of acne such as whiteheads and pimples.

Regularly cleansing the face with mild soap and warm water helps to loosen any buildup in pores, which can prevent them from becoming blocked again moving forward.

In some cases, you may need professional help from a dermatologist to clear up more severe cases of blackhead breakouts if they don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments.

How Can Hormonal Change Influence The Formation of Moles?

Hormonal changes, especially in adolescence and during pregnancy, can have a significant effect on the formation of moles.

This is because hormonal shifts can cause an increase in the production of melanin, which then collects in a hair follicle or in the upper layer of skin and darkens it to form a mole or pustule.

People with oily skin often tend to develop new moles as these hormone-triggered activities boost sebum production, which further enhance melanin accumulation.

As hormones fluctuate throughout life, it’s common for new moles to appear and old ones to disappear from time to time.

During pregnancy some women notice that existing moles become bigger due to increased estrogen levels or new moles may develop as their body works harder on hormone production.

Although harmless for the majority of people, it is important to get any unusual lumps examined by a doctor; particularly if they are changing shape, oozing liquid or becoming painful.

Hormones play an integral part in our lives, but it’s essential we take note of abnormal physical changes that could be signalling something more serious than just hormonal fluctuations.

Woman with moles all over her neck

Mole Vs Blackhead: How To Tell Them Apart?

Moles and blackheads can be difficult to tell apart. Moles are typically a darker color than blackheads, while blackheads tend to appear as dark spots on the skin, and blackheads are a very common occurrence.

If you try to squeeze a blackhead, it will usually appear as a little bump underneath the surface of the skin.

Pimples can form around blackheads and moles alike, although pimples that form around moles might make this difficult since they can look very similar in appearance.

Moles have several different appearances depending on the type of mole.

It could range from just being a small spot or irregular patch with even coloring to raisin-like bumps or a large lesion covering more extensive areas of your body.

Moles are usually smaller than the size of a pinhead, but can still be visible.

Blackheads normally measure in at less than 5 millimeters across, so they’re much smaller than moles in comparison and often resemble tiny white dots on top of pores that have become clogged with dirt, oil or dead skin cells within them.

The best way to differentiate between the two is by looking for any changes in color and size over time combined with other signs such as itching or pain, which may suggest malignancy if present in the case of moles.

Along with regular self-examination and monitoring using ABCDE method (Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Color variations or unevenness throughout pigmented area, Diameter > 6 mm and Elevation).

Altogether, these signs should alert one about any malignant transformation that may require further assessment by an experienced health care professional like a dermatologist.

In most cases, though, regular elevated dark spots on our skins are neither malignant nor benign; they’re simply harmless particles made up by cells that produce melanin.

Commonly known as melanocytes – which absorb ultraviolet radiation, thus protecting us from harmful UV rays emitted by sunlight when exposed outdoors over longer period of times without protection (such as sunblock/sunscreen).

In many situations, pimples that form around moles will usually go away within a few weeks when simple measures like good hygiene habits are adopted while avoiding picking at them, since these actions can lead to infection instead.

Can Blackheads Turn Into Moles?

Blackheads and moles are not the same; however, they can be confused.

Blackheads are actually small black dots that are caused by clogged pores that have become filled with sebum– a substance made of fats, oils and skin cells.

Blackheads usually appear on the face, neck or chest due to excess oil production in those areas.

These black spots do not usually result in any harm to your health, but if left untreated they can lead to pimples which will usually eventually go away.

On the other hand, moles are skin growths that look like dark spots and can vary in size from tiny dots up to large brown patches.

They typically occur from exposure to the sun too often or from genetics and although most moles don’t pose any risk for skin cancer, some may need monitoring depending on their size or location.

Moles cannot be caused by squeezing blackheads; however, it is important to avoid touching or squeezing them since this could lead to further infection or scarring of your skin.

Although blackheads and moles share similarities in appearance, they come about as a result of different things.

Squeezing blackheads rarely leads directly to the development of a mole, while spending too much time exposed to sunlight can increase your chances of having one.

When dealing with either issue, it is best practice to seek professional medical advice if you’re ever unsure about something regarding your skin.

Doctor checking the moles on the neck of a patient


Mole vs blackhead – how to tell them apart? It’s important to pay attention to both moles and blackheads, as either can become a sign of something more serious if left untreated.

Moles are skin growths that form when melanocytes (cells responsible for skin pigment) cluster closer to the surface of the skin than usual.

They can range in color from light brown to black and are caused by genetics, sun exposure, and hormone changes like during pregnancy or adolescence.

Blackheads appear as dark dots on the face due to clogged pores filled with oil, sebum, dirt and bacteria. To prevent their formation, practice good hygiene habits, such as deep cleansing with oil-free cleansers that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.

Regularly exfoliating your skin will help slough off any dead skin cells that contribute to further blockages in your pores.

Squeezing these spots is not effective at removing them and may cause further irritation or infection; instead use an ointment containing retinoids or visit a dermatologist.