Other Skin Lesions That Might Look Like Moles

There are a number of skin lesions that people may initially mistake for moles, which may in fact be different lesions that require different treatments or techniques to be removed.

Learn more about “mole-like” skin lesions:

Sebaceous Gland Hyperplasia

Single or multiple yellowish or skin-colored skin lesions that usually appear on the nose, cheeks, and forehead. These small papules are inherited from your family and may increase in number or size over your lifetime.


Different size, a different color that might look like a mole

Cherry Angioma

These skin lesions are sometimes called “red moles” and can be skin leveled slightly raised, red, and can range from pinpoint size to 7 mm. They can be caused by natural aging, genetics, hormone changes, climate, or exposure to certain environments.

Seborrheic Keratoses

These are common skin growths that range from white to brown to black and can appear similar to warts. They are benign lesions often caused by genetics or sun exposure.


These are not actually moles, but deeper pigmentations that are can range from skin-colored to light brown spots. They are typically found on the sun-exposed skin of the face and arms.

Lentigo or liver spots

These are spots on the skin that are darker than the surrounding skin and usually caused by sun exposure. They are uniformly pigmented, flat with a brown to black color, and sharp margins. They range anywhere between 0.5 – 4 millimeters in size.

Skin Tags

Can be skin-colored or darkly pigmented raised lesions that are attached to the skin. They can have a broad base and frequently look like a mole.

Dermatosis papulosa nigra

Small, dark 1-5 mm bumps usually found on the upper cheeks in individuals of darker skin tones. They first appear during teen years and may become more visible as you age.

Large Clogged Pores

Especially if a pore is raised and filled with dark material, they can appear similar to moles on your body


Cysts are closed sacs that can be raised with discoloration that is similar to a mole. The type of cyst you have is determined by its location on your body. Quite often, cysts are found on the face, ears, neck, and scalp. Cysts can sometimes be differentiated from a mole by a visible central pore or whitehead.


Round, brownish, or reddish-purple raised growths commonly found in exposed areas such as the legs or arms and feel like hard lumps under the skin. Dermatofibromas usually extend farther beneath the skin than what is visible on the surface.

Skin Cancer, non-melanoma

Most skin cancers start as a nonhealing lesion and gradually grow as skin color, dark brown, dark purple, dark blue, or even colorless skin lesion that can look like a new mole on your body.


On the face, especially around the eyes, you may have firm, small, whitish lesions. The development of milia is not usually linked to any particular reason or disease. Milia also appears frequently on infants but usually resolve on their own.


A deadly skin cancer that can start growing inside of an ordinary mole or can appear as a newly developed weird mole on the skin surface. Though the skin cancer starts small, it will eventually develop into a large, ugly mole melanoma


a type of scar that can appear after the skin has healed from an injury. Its color is typically dark or purple, and it is usually firmer and larger than the original skin injury.

The scar can even grow larger than the original injury. Small keloids are often mistaken for moles.

Pyogenic granuloma

After an injury to the skin, you may develop a growth that is red, oozing, and bleeding. This raised bright red lesion will continue to grow over the next few weeks to approximately 12 mm. It is best to seek treatment for these growths as up to 50% of pyogenic granulomas will redevelop after the first removal.


This type of skin growth can look like a skin-colored mole. The raised skin lesion is a condition in which fatty growths develop underneath the skin. This type of skin growth can appear anywhere on the body, including on eyelids.

There are a lot of less common cancerous or benign skin lesions that can look like a mole. The description of that type of lesions is beyond the scope of this website therefore we invite you to make an appointment to see Dr. Shafa for evaluation and treatment of any skin lesion that you have. See us if you are concerned, it is annoying, hurting, growing, changing or you just do not like the look of it. Ask question.


A lump between your skin and muscle that feels fatty and is not painful. Lipomas are easily moveable with just very little pressure. You may have multiple lipomas at one time. Generally, they do not require any treatment, but if it becomes painful or starts to grow you may consider removal.

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