Monitoring Your Moles

How your dermatologists in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts can help you avoid skin cancer.

Moles are a common skin issue, and most moles are normal. Some moles may be an early sign of skin cell changes which could indicate skin cancer. How can you tell the difference? It’s important to know what to look for when you monitor your moles.

The dermatologists of Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, P.C. in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts offer a wide variety of skincare and medical dermatology services, including taking care of your moles.

Moles are caused by a skin cell known as a melanocyte, which is responsible for skin color. When these cells clump together, a mole forms. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles. Normal moles will be uniform in shape and color and be smaller than 6 millimeters in diameter.

You should monitor your moles regularly, and make a note of any moles that are:

  • Greater than 6 millimeters in diameter
  • Irregularly shaped with ragged borders
  • Painful, itching, or burning
  • Bleeding or oozing

Other suspicious moles are moles that have grown back after previous removal or moles that have changed in color, shape, size, or height.

Visit your dermatologist if you notice any moles with the characteristics listed above. Your dermatologist may want to take a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is normal, precancerous, or cancerous.

Your dermatologist may want to shave the mole; the area will be numbed and then the mole will be shaved out. There are no sutures required for this type of removal. This is a great treatment for small moles.

The mole may also be removed completely using a punching instrument. This type of mole removal involves placing just a few sutures afterward.

You can do a lot to prevent skin cancer by monitoring your moles and always wearing sunscreen when you go outside. Make certain you wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, or an SPF of at least 30 if you plan on being outside for long periods of time.

Monitoring your moles is easy, and should take only a few minutes, but it can save your life. To find out more about preventing skin cancer and other dermatology questions, call the dermatologists of Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, P.C. in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts at (781) 237-3500. Call today.