Moles are small black or brown growths on the skin. Moles typically develop in childhood and are very common. They are sometimes called nevi or beauty marks. Moles can become cancerous when they develop into melanomas. In this case, they should be promptly treated by a certified dermatology provider.
Moles are often darker than the rest of the skin. They may be flat or raised and may even have hairs growing in them. Moles are most often harmless but for some people, they can be a cosmetic problem.
Most moles are harmless and don’t require treatment unless you’re bothered by their appearance. However, moles may sometimes develop into skin cancer – in which case, it’s extremely important to seek out treatment.
Cancerous moles most often occur in areas that are regularly exposed to the sun like the face, neck, scalp, ears, chest, shoulders, and hands. If you notice moles in these areas, it’s essential to regularly check them. If a mole in this area suddenly begins to crust, bleed, or itch, it can be indicative of cancer.
Additionally, you can locate cancerous moles by knowing the ABCDEs of melanoma. Contact a certified dermatology provider right away if you notice these changes:
- A: Asymmetry
Healthy moles are typically round or oval-shaped. If a mole looks different on one side with any of the below symptoms, it may be a sign of melanoma.
- B: Border
Melanomas typically have an uneven, blurred, scalloped, or irregular border. A healthy mole will typically have a clear border between it and the rest of the skin.
- C: Color
Healthy moles are typically black or brown. Melanomas may change color, becoming darker or lighter, as well as showing colors like red, blue, or white.
- D: Diameter
If a mole is larger than 6mm in diameter (or about the size of a pencil eraser) it may be cancerous. However, not all moles that are large are necessarily malignant. Some melanomas can even be smaller in size.
- E: Evolving
Healthy moles don’t typically change over time once they are established. If you notice any moles changing with the above factors or you notice new moles emerging in adulthood, it can be a sign of cancer.
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Moles are simply clusters of pigmentation that develop irregularly in the skin. They are incredibly common and almost everyone has them. Moles sometimes occur at birth but most people develop them in childhood or later.
Whether your mole is cancerous or not will determine the course of your treatment. If you have concerns about a mole being cancerous, our team will perform a comprehensive skin exam. Then, a biopsy will be performed so that the tissue can be evaluated under a microscope and diagnosed by a board certified dermatopathologist. If the mole is found to be cancerous, there are several treatment options available.
Cosmetic moles can easily be removed via shave removal or surgical excision. Our team can help you put together a personalized treatment package based on your goals.
If you have an immediate concern, you want to find quality care as soon as possible. Our office takes walk-in appointments and will be happy to address your concerns and offer you immediate treatment suggestions and medical care.LEARN MORE
After treating moles, it’s essential to wear sunscreen with SPF 30+ daily to prevent moles from coming back or becoming cancerous. Our team will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions based on your exact treatment plan.
If you’re bothered by moles or are concerned about whether a mole is cancerous, it’s always best to seek out a certified dermatology provider. To schedule an appointment, call our Terre Haute, IN office, fill out our online contact form, or “Walk In Now.”
RYAN T. PATTERSON FOUNDER/CEO, DCNP
Ryan is State Licensed and Nationally Board Certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner (NP-C) by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Additionally, he is board certified as a Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner (DCNP) by the Dermatology Nursing Certification Board. He has 20+ years of Dermatology Experience.Meet The Team
“I had a very questionable spot on my cheek that I needed to have checked out and I went to Biltmore Dermatology for answers. The spot was removed and all my post care was taken care of. It was a great experience.” – Jenny N.
“The office was able to get me in quick and everyone was very helpful and friendly at the visit. Would highly recommend. Thank you!” – Cody G.
“My wife and I had our first visit to Biltmore Dermatology. Doctor and staff were very friendly and helpful. Was able and willing to answer all our questions that we brought up. So thankful to have staff with attitudes of caring when having to go through a stressful medical condition. My wife and I thank you.” – William P.
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