What is the difference between a wart and a mole?


Often, growths on the skin can be inconvenient and spoil the appearance. Especially in cases where they are located in visible areas of the body and in places subject to constant friction. The nature of origin and probable danger can be determined on the basis of what exactly this or that education is.

It happens that it is difficult to immediately understand whether a wart or mole has become a source of problems in each case. Before drawing conclusions regarding the differences between these growths, you need to find out what they are and what are the dangers.

What is a mole?

Moles are a fairly common occurrence, they are present in 75% of people of the Caucasian race. They are formed due to accumulations of nevocyte cells containing a large amount of melanin – a pigment that stains the skin in a dark color. This explains their other name – nevus. The color of the mole can vary from light to dark brown, almost black.Mole on the body

There is such a thing as a warty nevus, which is the same benign formation that looks like a wart. It is necessary to monitor it especially carefully, since its shape can contribute to the degeneration of cells into abnormal ones.

The appearance of moles is primarily due to genetic predisposition. Most of them appear in the first years of life (unlike warts), others during puberty. In rare cases, new formations may appear in adults.

Possible reasons for their occurrence include:

  1. Heredity. This applies to formations that appeared in the child after birth.
  2. Hormonal changes (changes in the level of progesterone and estrogen in the body). This explains the appearance of nevi in ​​pregnant women and adolescents.
  3. Ultraviolet, under the influence of which changes occur in the skin. Nevuses can appear after a long stay in the sun or in a solarium. The same can serve to ensure that the mole turns into an oncological education.
  4. Sexually transmitted diseases.
  5. Inflammatory processes in the genitourinary system.
  6. Poisoning by toxic substances, including alcohol.

In most cases, nevi do not carry any danger and do not require removal. An exception is moles that turn into malignant.


If the mole has changed color, shape, began to bleed or has been damaged, be sure to contact a dermatologist to study it. An oncological problem discovered in time is easier to treat.

What is a wart?

The wart itself is in most cases also safe, and does no harm except an aesthetic defect. These growths are formed due to the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the blood of a person.

This is the main thing that distinguishes warts from moles. HPV is the only causative agent of this type of formation. The exception is only senile warts. They are not caused by a virus, but by age-related skin changes.Wart

The virus itself can be present in the body for a long time and does not manifest itself in any way. The causes of the growth of warts:

  1. profuse sweating;
  2. severe stress;
  3. decrease in immunity.

HPV carriers are 60% of the world's population. Many do not even suspect its presence until it begins to manifest itself.

There are several varieties of warts:

  • Vulgar – the most common. These are the ones that most often occur on the back of the hand and on the feet. They have an uneven surface with cracks, hard to the touch.
  • Plantar. A wart on the sole is called a tongue, it is formed in places of greatest pressure of the foot when walking. In appearance it resembles a corn.
  • Spiky (condylomas). Such growths are formed on the genitals and next to them in the groin area. In shape, these are long soft formations in the form of papillae.
  • Youthful. Such formations are usually low, occur mainly on the face and hands. They have a light color, possibly with some shade.

An ordinary vulgar wart may look most like a mole, especially if it is brown.

How to distinguish a mole from a wart

It should be noted that moles cannot turn into warts, as is sometimes assumed. If a mole changes shape and color, this can be a dangerous sign of the degeneration of its cells into cancerous, but such a change should not be associated with the papillomavirus.Growth detection


Before removing warts-moles of unknown origin, you need to decide what exactly you have to deal with. Any doubtful education should be shown to a dermatologist.

The difference between a wart and a mole can be detected independently by the following signs:

  • The form. Nevuses most often have smooth round shapes. In most cases, they completely merge with the skin. Warts, on the other hand, have jagged edges, rise high above the surface and narrow at the attachment site.
  • Colour. At a mole, it is more saturated – brown, sometimes almost black. The wart is usually painted in light colors – flesh-colored with a yellow or gray tint.
  • Tactile sensations. The mole is soft, almost no different from its surrounding skin. The wart is as if covered with a hard crust, unpleasant to the touch.
  • Number. Moles are single formations that rarely form groups. Warts often grow in several rows, and their number increases over time.
  • Location. Warts form only on the hands, feet and face, and moles can occur on any part of the body.

Most often, these signs are enough to distinguish between moles and warts. However, in case of doubt, it will not hurt to visit a doctor, even if the fears turn out to be false. For diagnosis, an analysis of cell formation is performed.

Methods of treating moles and warts

The structure of moles and warts is completely different. The mole is inherently part of the skin and it merges with it, as it were. The wart consists of abnormal cells and has a root that grows into the inner layers of the skin.

A mole is removed only if it turns into a malignant, or for aesthetic reasons. It is necessary to carry out this in a particular medical institution using a laser, electrocoagulation, cryodestruction or by a surgical method. Do not try to remove the nevus yourself. This can lead to its development into cancer.

Removal of warts is carried out in the same ways. But you can also do this at home, using folk methods. The main thing is to keep clean during the procedures so as not to infect the affected area.

Wart formations are removed using the following means:

  1. Dandelion juice;
  2. Celandine;
  3. Vinegar;
  4. Castor oil;
  5. Rowan berries;
  6. Garlic;
  7. Fresh potatoes.

Rowan berries

The treatment of warts is not limited to just removing them. Additionally, antiviral and immunomodulating drugs are prescribed that prevent the re-formation of growths. This is what distinguishes their treatment from moles.

In general, there is a fundamental difference between moles and warts. These are two unrelated formations, sometimes similar to each other. In most cases, neither one nor the other does much harm. It is important to determine the nature of the growth before carrying out any manipulations with it.

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Human papillomavirus (HPV)
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