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Walk-in Dermatology > Blog > Medical Dermatology > How to Deal with a Pimple within a Mole

How to Deal with a Pimple within a Mole

September 14, 2020
Pimple in a Mole

Pimples can form on any surface of the skin that has hair follicles, including moles. These pimples can grow deep inside the mole as a nodule, or closer to the surface as blackheads, whiteheads, pustules, or papules. If a pimple is inside a mole, you may feel it’s raised and tender to the touch.

So what can you do if you have a pimple within a mole? These pimples often go away on their own, without needing treatment. You can also treat these pimples with regular acne solutions such as salicylic acid cleansers and other mild products. However, patients should consult with their dermatologist if the pimple doesn’t get better or the mole changes within a few weeks, as this may be a sign of skin cancer.

What You Should do if Your Mole has a Pimple

If a pimple grows in your mole, it should be treated the same as any other pimple. Although it may cause more pain and may take a little longer to clear up from where it’s stuck underneath the surface, these pimples will generally disappear on their own within a few weeks. 

It’s also not necessary to try treatments meant for persistent acne, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t get pimples often. Since the pimples will usually go away on their own, it’s best to avoid touching or squeezing them. Washing the skin too often will also dry it out and cause the pimple to produce extra oil, so you should avoid that as well. 

Here are some self-care measures that can address the pain or irritation caused by a pimple within a mole: 

  • Find a mild cleanser for your skin: Resist the urge to pop the pimple and begin with gentle, fragrance-free cleansers first. Skin cleansers that contain salicylic acid will help break down the oil and bacteria in the pores surrounding the pimple. Apply this as directed, since over-applying can irritate the mole and your skin. 
  • Consider using a benzoyl peroxide solution: Solutions that contain benzoyl peroxide should be used with caution, since they can inflame the skin. If the pimple in a mole is located on a broad area of acne, you can apply a 2% solution. You can also check with a dermatologist to prescribe stronger formulas for severe cases. Switch to milder skincare products once the pimple clears up. 
  • Try a topical cream or ointment: Another option is applying retinoid creams or antibiotic ointment. A dermatologist can recommend over-the-counter creams to help you prevent an infection and reduce the inflammation. Apply the medicine daily and cover the mole with a bandage or gauze to prevent injury. 
  • Take good care of a scratched mole: If the mole gets injured or scratched, it may bleed and get infected. Wash the mole and the surrounding skin with warm, soapy water then towel dry the area. You may apply an antibiotic cream afterwards. 

In general, you don’t really need a different approach to address a pimple within a mole. If the mole is non-cancerous, it will most likely heal on its own. However, if changes occur to the mole, be sure to check with your dermatologist. You can also discuss mole removal with your dermatologist if you repeatedly injure a raised mole.

What Causes Pimple Growth in Moles? 

Pimples form when natural oils, sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells collect in a hair follicle. Hair follicles are the tiny holes from which hair grows. A hair follicle looks like an ordinary pore on the skin’s surface. When the dead cells, bacteria, and oil clog these pores, your body responds by forming a plug – the pimple. 

On the other hand, a common mole is a cluster of pigmented cells that form on the surface of the skin. These moles can grow on any area, even around hair follicles. Moles don’t have any protection against the pimples that form underneath them. However, they can make it more difficult for the pimple to reach the surface. The more moles a person has, the greater the likelihood of a pimple forming beneath one. 

Seven Ways to Prevent Pimples from Growing in a Mole 

The best way to deal with any pimple is to be proactive in keeping your skin healthy. You can prevent pimples from growing inside your moles with these easy steps: 

  1. Wash your skin daily with a mild cleanser, then follow with a moisturizer. 
  2. Avoid using skincare products with harsh ingredients, as these may irritate the skin. 
  3. If you have oily skin, change your pillowcase and bed sheets regularly. 
  4. As often as possible, choose non-comedogenic makeup. These products are less likely to clog pores in the skin. 
  5. Take extra care when shaving. Use a sharp blade or an electric razor, then follow with a non-perfumed moisturizer to reduce irritation. 
  6. Put sunscreen on whenever you are exposed to sunlight. 
  7. Avoid touching your face or other areas, as the bacteria from your hands can affect your skin. 

When Should you See a Dermatologist for this Condition? 

If the pimple on your mole does not get better within a few weeks, it may be an infected mole, a sign of possible skin cancer, or another kind of skin condition. In such cases, it’s best to see a dermatologist directly for an evaluation. Even if the mole is not cancerous, you will have peace of mind once it is properly diagnosed. 

You should also check the mole for any new changes that may occur, because this may indicate warning signs of skin cancer. Some changes you should be on alert for include: 

  • Color changes
  • Changes in shape, texture, or height
  • Uneven size changes 
  • Scaly or dry surface
  • Irregular or scalloped borders 
  • Asymmetrical shape
  • Hardness or “lumpiness” 
  • Itchiness
  • Bleeding or oozing 
  • Uneven color

Talk to a board-certified dermatologist immediately if you notice your mole has become unusual, or new moles have suddenly appeared on your skin. Your dermatologist will likely recommend conducting a full body skin exam to check for suspicious growths on your skin. 

A full body screening will help detect skin cancers early on. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, which occurs in four forms: actinic keratoses (AK), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma

Out of the four skin cancer types, melanoma is the rarest but also the most deadly. Melanoma is a skin cancer that develops in cells that produce melanin. While melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, it often appears in areas frequently exposed to the sun. Moles that look like an irregular growth also indicate melanoma, but melanoma does not always begin as a mole. 

A proactive approach toward skin cancer through skin examinations will greatly help in preventing and treating any issues. 

Schedule a Check-up with Walk-in Dermatology

Walk-in Dermatology aims to provide convenient and high quality dermatology services to patients. Our team of board-certified dermatologists are available for in-person consultations and video visits. We also offer skin cancer screenings, mole removal procedures, and other services to keep our patients in good health. Book your appointment today.