When a pimple forms on or under a mole — yes, that can happen — it may also raise some questions about treatment and if this new development could be a more serious skin condition.

Treating a pimple on a mole usually doesn’t require a different approach than you would take for a pimple anywhere else, but any change to a mole should be taken seriously.

There are signs that suggest this kind of skin development may need an evaluation from a dermatologist, so we’ll look at that in this article.

While you may not notice a pimple on a mole very often, there’s no reason why a mole would prevent a pimple from forming.

A common mole is a cluster of pigment cells on the surface of the skin. A mole can be found anywhere, even around a hair follicle. The oil that gets trapped in a hair follicle can also cause a pimple to show up.

Too much oil in your skin is one reason why pimples form. The oil, called sebum, clogs your pores. Your skin responds by forming a plug, aka a pimple.

The sebum also carries dead skin cells to the surface. These dead skin cells can also contribute to a clogged pore and form a plug. Bacteria in the skin can trigger the same response.

Keep in mind that pimples tend to form on the face, neck, back, and shoulders, while moles can be anywhere. A mole found in an area prone to pimples may be just as likely to have a pimple form under or on it as any other spot of skin.

Most people tend to have between 10 and 40 moles over the course of a lifetime. The more you have, the greater the likelihood of a pimple forming on one.

Moles don’t offer any protection against pimples forming underneath them, but they can make it harder for a pimple to rise to the surface. This means that it can take longer for a pimple on a mole to clear up, even with treatment.

While you may be tempted to pop a pimple on a mole, resist the urge. Instead, try more traditional treatments, starting with basic and gentle cleansers.

  • Try mild and fragrance-free cleansers, and be gentle when washing your skin.
  • If you have a broad area of acne that includes a pimple on a mole, try applying a product that contains 2 percent benzoyl peroxide.
  • Don’t apply acne treatments more often than directed. They could irritate your mole or skin in general.

Here are some other remedies for treating a blind pimple, a pimple that doesn’t have a head (like a cystic pimple), and pimples that crop up on places like fingers and hands. You can also find natural and alternative methods for treating pimples here.

Of course, the best way to deal with a pimple on a mole is to be proactive about keeping your skin clear and avoid the problem altogether.

If you tend to have oily skin, washing your face and changing your pillowcase and bed linens regularly may help. Understanding your skin and the cause of your pimples can go a long way in figuring out what’ll work best to treat and prevent them from popping up.

If a mole changed a lot

It’s important to routinely check your body for new moles or other skin changes, as well as changes to existing moles. If a mole’s size, shape, or color changes, ask a doctor about it.

Also, if the mole has an irregular boundary or if one half is a different size and shape than the other, see a doctor. These all can be signs of skin cancer.

If the pimple doesn’t go away

A pimple or sore on a mole that doesn’t get better within a couple of weeks, should also be seen by a doctor. It could be a melanoma, an infected mole, or another skin problem.

Who to go to

You could start by seeing your primary care physician, but you may want to go straight to a dermatologist for an evaluation. If skin cancer or another health problem is suspected, look for a dermatologist who specializes in treating skin cancer.

Even if the mole or spot isn’t cancerous, you may find some peace of mind getting that diagnosis from a skin cancer specialist.

Don’t remove a mole yourself

This is never a good idea. If the mole is cancerous and you try to cut it out yourself, you could leave cancer cells behind.

You also run the risk of serious scarring or causing an infection, which could drag out a long healing process or get worse.

A pimple on a mole may be something you deal with once or twice in life, but knowing that it can happen easily should give you some comfort. Treating it gently may be enough for it to clear up.

If it doesn’t clear up and you notice changes to the mole, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. If the problem is an infection or a type of skin cancer, earlier treatment is always recommended.