Posted on: 13 February 2020
If you have a mole, you might want to get it checked out by a dermatologist. Read on to learn more.
What is a mole?
A mole is a common skin lesion that tends to appear early in life and may change slowly over the years. It is normal for adults to have 10-40 of them. Some may be visitors that appear and disappear during your lifetime. Others may have a lifelong presence.
Moles come in all shapes and sizes and may be singular or clustered together. They can be found anywhere on the skin, from the soles of your feet to the scalp of your head. They tend to have more pigmentation than the surrounding skin and are thus light or darker brown to black in hue.
While some people live with their moles, many people choose to have their moles removed by a professional skin doctor. At times, mole removal becomes absolutely necessary as a means of halting the spread of dangerous skin cancer, melanoma.
When is it important to have a mole looked at by a professional dermatologist?
The vast majority of moles are harmless and absolutely nothing to worry about. However, you should be aware of any that could be the start of melanoma, or skin cancer. A red flag may be a mole that appears during adulthood and that looks markedly different from your other moles. You can use the ABCDE's of Melanoma as a good rule of thumb to sort out the harmful from the harmless.
'A' stands for asymmetrical shape, which may indicate a dangerous melanoma. Symmetrical moles tend to be benign.
'B' stands for border, which may be irregular and hard to define. Comparatively, a harmless mole will tend to have smooth edges.
'C' stands for color. More than one color may indicate melanoma. These could include black, brown, tan, or even blue.
'D' stands for diameter -- Be on the lookout for any moles larger than the width of a pencil eraser.
'E' stands for evolution. Be aware of how your moles slowly change over time. If any seem to change more rapidly than usual, err on the side of caution and have it checked out.
If your dermatologist slates any of your moles for removal, rest assured that the procedure is quick, easy, and painless. Melanoma is a common form of cancer, and people with fair skin may be at an elevated risk. If found early, cancerous lesions can be removed before they have time to spread. If you have any moles that stand out with any of the ABCDE's of melanoma, call your dermatologist to get checked out. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
To learn more, contact a resource like the Midwest Dermatology Clinic PC.Share