5 Changes in Moles Dermatologists Look For
Men and women alike are likely to have moles on various parts of their bodies. Many moles are nothing to worry about, but concern should arise when you or your doctor notice a change in a mole or multiple moles. When a change is noticed, a mole check-up by a dermatologist at Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute should be scheduled to determine if further mole evaluation is necessary. There are five common changes to be aware of when examining your moles.
5 Mole Changes
It is important to be aware of the moles you have on your own body. Knowing where your moles are and what they look like can be life-saving in some cases. Atypical moles can occur anywhere on the body. These atypical moles are characterized by irregular features. A dermatologist uses the five letters A, B, C, D and E to look for these irregular changes, but also can be used by you when examining your own moles. The first change to look for is asymmetry. An asymmetrical mole will not be able to be split in half equally. When split in half visually, if one half is larger or smaller than the other, the mole is asymmetrical. Next, look for border changes. If the borders on the mole are uneven, it is another sign of an atypical mole. The color of the mole also plays a large role in determining if the mole is atypical or not. Common moles should be one shade of brown. If your moles are different shades, you may be again looking at atypical moles. The fourth change to look for is the diameter and darkness of the mole. A normal mole should not be any larger than an eraser or darker than the rest of your moles. The last change to look for is how the mole evolves over time. If a mole has evolved into a larger, darker and/or asymmetrical mole it is best to consult a dermatologist to have them tested for skin cancer.
Moles and Skin Cancer
Atypical moles are not always related to cancer, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, we recommend having a mole evaluation once you notice something is different about your moles. Having the moles evaluated can help determine whether they are a sign of melanoma. Catching melanoma early on can be a matter of life or death. If caught early enough it can often be treated. Skin cancer moles are treated by having Mohs Micrographic Surgery. In this surgery, the tissue is removed and tested little by little until no cancer cells remain. The procedure is relatively painless as is the healing process.
If you notice any of these five changes in your moles or are simply concerned about your moles a dermatologist can help evaluate and confirm your suspicions. If you are in Bloomington, Illinois or the surrounding areas, complete this form to discuss your moles with a dermatologist from Dermatology & Mohs Surgery Institute.