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Asking for a Friend: Why Is My Mole Growing Dark Hair?

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Sometimes people luck out regarding the placement of their moles (ahem, Cindy Crawford). Other people wind up with one smack dab on top of a hair follicle.

And while moles can crop up anywhere on your body, those creepy hairs that poke through moles can often be thicker and darker, making you question whether your darker than normal hair is anything to worry about. (Read How One Trip to the Derm Saved My Skin.)

So what's the deal? "Moles are collections of pigment-producing cells in the skin," explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "If the mole also contains a hair follicle, the hyper-pigmentation can cause the hair that comes out of it to be coarser and darker."

Removing hair from a mole is the same as removing hair anywhere too, so it's safe to pluck away, assures Zeichner. Even more: Chronic plucking or waxing can sometimes damage the hair follicle enough that the hair will become thinner or will stop growing back. If you go this route, it's also possible you may sometimes experience an ingrown hair. If you do, Zeichner recommends using a sterilized sewing needle to pop out the ingrown end from cleaned skin. Then, apply an antibiotic ointment like Bacitracin.

And if you're really bothered by your mole hair (and plucking drives you nuts), consider electrolysis—a process that removes one hair at a time using an electrical current to destroy the hair growth cells.

As always, also remember: If at any time your mole starts to change shape or look different than usual, head straight to your derm. (Check out these Photos of Cancerous Moles if you're concerned.)


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