Nearly everyone has at least one mole. While moles are typically harmless, they have potential to become dangerous to the rest of a person’s health over time. Because of this, it is important for patients to monitor their moles on a regular basis. Knowing the signs to look for to evaluate if a mole might be harmless or harmful can help patients visit dermatologists sooner, allowing for faster diagnosis and treatment.
Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center is proud to offer our patients the dermatological care they need to lead happy, healthy lives. If you suspect that one of your moles might be harmful to your health, don’t hesitate; contact our practice today to schedule a skin care consultation appointment.
What are Moles?
Moles are small skin growths that are usually pink, brown, or black in color that may either be flat or protrude from the surface of the skin. These structures are composed of large amounts of melanocytes, or the cells within the skin that produce pigment. Moles can appear anywhere on the body and are usually a harmless aesthetic feature.
When are they Dangerous?
While most moles pose no medical threat to the people that have them, they have the possibility of becoming cancerous over time. Generally, any changes in the appearance of one of your moles should warrant a visit to the dermatologist, but the ABCDE method is a useful way of evaluating the specific characteristics of your moles that may put you at an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half.
- Border. The outside of the mole is irregular or not well defined.
- Color. The color of the mole is not uniform.
- Diameter. The diameter of the mole is larger than six millimeters.
- Evolving. The mole has changed in size, shape, elevation, or color.
If you’ve noticed that your mole has any of the mentioned characteristics, it’s best to be cautious and have it examined by an experienced dermatologist. During a skin examination appointment, a dermatologist can evaluate if your mole has potential to be dangerous. If the mole is suspicious, a biopsy will be performed so that an accurate diagnosis can be made under a microscope. If it is found to be cancerous, patients are able to seek treatment sooner rather than later, and decrease the chances that their skin cancer will spread or recur.
Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center is proud to bring patients in the Windermere, Bay Hill, Gotha, and Dr. Phillips areas of Florida the state-of-the-art dermatological care they need to live their healthiest lives. If you’re worried that a mole that you or someone you love has may be cancerous, contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!