posted: Feb. 05, 2018.
Moles are normally harmless, but in rare cases they can become a dermatological and medical concern. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that over 160,000 Americans are diagnosed with a melanoma each year., and one-third start as existing moles. Find out why you should schedule time for a mole screening at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, MA.
What Is a Mole?
A skin mole is a small dark red, brown, or black mark on the skin that is often circular in shape, but can also be slightly irregular. Sometimes a mole is raised above skin-level and sometimes it is flush with the rest of the skin. Some people are born with moles while others develop them in childhood or adulthood. Moles can appear anywhere on the body.
A mole screening is simply an appointment with your dermatologist to check out the moles and other marks on your body. These are some of the things your Wellesley Hills, MA dermatologist will be looking for at the screening appointment:
- Changes in the border of the mole (uneven or jagged)
- A mole that is growing in size or is larger than the eraser on a pencil.
- A mole that is changing in color or has multiple shades.
- New moles that suddenly appear on the skin.
- Redness, irritation or bleeding from the mole.
Treatments for Moles
If a mole is benign, your dermatologist will likely recommend that you leave it as it is. Avoid picking at it or trying to remove a mole yourself at home. If you want a mole removed for cosmetic reasons, always go to your dermatologist for the procedure. A mole that is diagnosed with cancerous cells after a biopsy will be removed surgically and treated with radiation therapy if necessary. It's important to have regular mole and skin screenings so that this issue can be caught in the earliest stages.
Play It Safe
If you have concerns that a mole may be changing or causing you discomfort, see a dermatologist at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley Hills, MA. Call (781) 237-3500 today to schedule an appointment.