Moles are common. Almost every adult has them. Patients can have anywhere from a few to a few hundred moles on their skin, depending on skin type. Having moles in normal, but they must be monitored for changes as they can become precancerous or even cancerous.
Characteristics of Benign Moles
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin. One can develop on your scalp, between your fingers and toes, on the soles and palms, and even under your nails. They usually have these traits:
- One color: moles can be flesh colored, pink, or brown. We are looking for one even color in each mole.
- Round or oval in shape
- Flat or raised
- Unchanged from month to month
Melanoma and Moles
I don’t want my patients to ignore their moles as catching any suspicious or changing moles early can potentially help prevent development of a dangerous skin cancer called melanoma. If you see a mole or other spot that is growing, changing, bleeding, or sore, please immediately get it checked out. I ask patients to monitor for atypical changes using the ABCDE mnemonic below.
- A = Asymmetry. One half is unlike the other half.
- B = Border. An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.
- C = Color. Look for moles that have different colors within them, are darker than the rest, and ones that are black, blue, gray, or white.
- D = Diameter. 6 mm is the cut off for a large size mole.
- E = Evolving. A mole that is changing in size, shape, or color.
If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDE’s of melanoma monitoring, don’t wait! Immediately make an appointment to see me.
Any changing moles are best caught early!
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I provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.