Posts for tag: moles
Worried about that mole? Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. If it is detected early, it is more easily treatable. Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, which is located in Wellesley Hills, MA, offers skin cancer screening and diagnostic services to their patients. Read on to find out when and how you should check yourself for moles.
What is Skin Cancer?
When cancer starts in the skin, it's called skin cancer. There are three major types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is produced by the sun, but it can also come from other sources, such as indoor tanning beds. Other factors may also contribute to your risk of skin cancer, such as having a medical condition that weakens your immune system or being exposed to toxic substances.
When Should I Look for Moles?
Skin cancer can arise at any age but most commonly occurs after puberty. Although the average age of diagnosis is 52, skin cancer is the second most common cancer in individuals aged 15-29. Making a habit of examining your skin on a regular basis will help detect any abnormal growths. Doctors recommend that you conduct a self-exam every month, looking for any new spots and changes to the existing freckles or moles.
How Do I Check Myself for Moles?
Make sure you check your entire body as skin cancers can occur in parts of the body not exposed to the sun. Use a mirror to check areas that are hard to see. When checking your skin, remember to examine the front and back of your body, then right and left with your arms up. Inspect your neck, back, and arms, and look at the backs of your legs and feet as well as in-between your toes and your soles.
When is a Mole Not Just a Mole?
Most benign moles are often a single shade of brown. Melanoma may become red, white or blue or have a number of shades of brown. Benign skin moles have a smooth and even border unlike cancerous moles. The borders of melanoma tend to be uneven and the edges are scalloped or notched. If you have skin moles that have been with you for decades without change, that's usually a sign that you don't need to worry about them. Additionally, if you have moles that look similar to one another, then they are probably benign.
What is a Skin Cancer Screening?
You should have a skin cancer screening every year. During a skin cancer screening, your dermatologist will inspect your skin, head-to-toe, for any potential warning signs. No blood work is conducted at a skin cancer screening. If your doctor sees a suspicious area, he or she will take a biopsy and send it to a pathologist. The pathologist will use a microscope to examine the skin tissue and determine whether it's cancerous or not. Your doctor will talk to you about the results.
Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. Take charge of your health today! If you need a mole check, call Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates at 781-237-3500 now to schedule your annual skin cancer screening in Wellesley Hills, MA. A skin cancer screening could save your life!
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.
Should I Be Worried about My Moles? What you need to know about moles.
Your body has many different kinds of cells, including skin cells called melanocytes. They produce melanin which determines your skin color. Sometimes melanocytes can form clumps, which produce a mole. It is normal to have between 10 and 40 moles of different textures and colors on your body, but their size is usually limited to less than 6 millimeters in diameter. You shouldn’t worry about these normal moles.
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts want you to know about when moles can be a sign of something more serious, like skin cancer. Moles can be an early sign of skin cancers like melanoma, and melanoma can be deadly.
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates want you to do a preventive self-examination periodically to check for skin cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several signs of an abnormality to look for, including:
- AAn asymmetrical shape
- BAn irregular border
- CA change in color
- DA diameter larger than 6 millimeters
- EA change in shape, color, size or height
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates want you to come in for a consultation if your mole is:
- Demonstrating any of the signs listed above
- Painful, itching or burning
- Oozing or bleeding
- Growing back after it was removed previously
- A new growth and you are over 30 years old
Many types of skin cancer can look like a mole or another type of skin growth. Basal cell carcinoma can look like a mole with a pearly edge. Squamous cell carcinoma can look like a scaly patch on your skin. Melanoma can look like a black or dark brown mole on your skin. Skin cancer doesn’t always look the same. That’s why it’s so important to seek out the help of a professional if you are worried about your skin. Your dermatologists can biopsy your moles to determine if you have skin cancer.
If you are worried about your moles and think you might have something more serious going on. Stop worrying and take some action! Call and make an appointment with your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. Don’t wait; your health may depend on it so call today!