What Happens If You Accidentally Scratch Off A Mole?

Moles, also known as nevi, are skin growth types that can range in color, according to Mayo Clinic. They may be singular or grow in clusters and appear as a spot or can be slightly protruding from the skin. Most of the time, they vary in size from large to small. The main reason for the development of the skin growth is still unknown (via Healthline). However, many do appear during childhood or adolescence and vary as you age. New moles may even appear after adulthood, typically after hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy. On average, a person has around 10 to 40 moles by the time they reach adulthood (per WebMD). 

Keep in mind, there are different kinds of moles. The most common being congenital nevi or moles that appear at the time of birth. They are small in size, around the same as a pencil eraser. A second type is known as dysplastic nevi, which are slightly larger, irregular, and may have dark centers and light outer edges. Although both moles can turn out to be dangerous for the skin, dysplastic nevi are comparatively more likely to cause cancer.

How to treat a scratched-off mole

If you accidentally scratch a raised mole, it could cause microscopic injuries or a wound, and immediately begin bleeding, according to Walk-In Dermatology. This might occur when you accidentally rub it on a rough surface or get caught in jewelry. It's also possible to scratch off a mole while using some skin care products. In any case, a temporarily bleeding mole isn't life-threatening, so it may not require immediate medical assistance. Moreover, considering common misconception, scratched-off moles don't turn cancerous. It's not possible to induce cancer after scratching moles. Usually, bleeding occurs when the surrounding blood vessels get weak or damaged after the injury. However, if the mole bleeds for no reason, you should get it checked.

Even if it itches, the best thing to do is to leave the mole alone and avoid rubbing it further. If any bleeding persists, Healthline suggests rubbing a cotton ball with alcohol on the spot for a while. This may not only reduce the bleeding but also sterilize the region and prevent the risk of infections. In addition, try putting on a bandage on the scratched-off mole. If the bleeding doesn't stop, you may want to visit a doctor as it could signify something more sinister. Keep in mind, doctors usually prescribe a biopsy for moles that won't stop bleeding to rule out cancer risk.