Keep an Eye on Your Moles
posted: Jul. 26, 2021.
Moles are a normal occurrence and most adults have at least a few moles somewhere on their skin. Moles are usually harmless, but it is possible for them to become cancerous. Keep an eye on your moles and see a dermatologist if you observe changes in the color, size, shape, or texture of a mole. The experienced dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley, MA, monitor moles through regular skin cancer screenings.
What Are Moles?
Moles form when the melanocyte cells responsible for skin pigmentation grow in clusters rather than spreading out across the skin. Moles are typically brown or black in color with a round or oval shape. Moles can be flat or raised, as well as rough or smooth. They can develop anywhere on the skin and most adults have somewhere between 10 and 40 moles on their bodies. Moles last for around 50 years so it is possible for some to disappear on their own over time.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs
While most moles tend to be harmless, certain changes to a mole can be an indication that skin cancer has developed. Additionally, having more than 50 moles increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. As is the case with any type of cancer, early detection is key to a better prognosis. One simple way to spot skin cancer early is by keeping an eye on your moles. Any changes that develop could be a warning sign that cancer is present.
See one of the knowledgeable dermatologists at our office in Wellesley, MA, to have your moles examined if any of the following warning signs are present:
- Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole do not match each other in color, shape, or size.
- Border: The mole has poorly defined, irregular, or scalloped edges.
- Color: The color of the mole is not the same throughout.
- Diameter: A large mole that is larger than 6mm (almost 1/4 inch) in diameter.
- Evolving: Changes in the color, size, shape, or texture of a mole.
In addition to having a dermatologist examine a mole for any of the above reasons, moles that look different from other moles on the body should also be checked out.
Keeping an eye on your moles and seeing a dermatologist annually for a skin cancer screening can lead to early detection of skin cancer when it is easier to treat. Schedule a skin cancer screening with one of the skilled dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley, MA, to have your moles checked out by calling (781) 237-3500.