Moles are a common type of growth on the skin. They often appear as small, dark brown spots and are caused by clusters of pigmented cells. Moles generally appear during childhood and adolescence. By adulthood, it is normal to have 10 to 40 moles. Some moles may fade or disappear as you age.
Most moles are harmless (benign). Monitoring moles and other pigmented patches is an important step in detecting skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma. Pay special attention to the areas of your skin that are often exposed to the sun such as face, neck, hands, arms, chest, and back.
The first five letters of the alphabet are a guide to the early warnings signs of melanoma.
A stands for ASYMMETRY. If a line is drawn through the middle of a mole, both sides should match. If not, this is a warning sign for melanoma.
B stands for BORDER irregularity. The border tends to be uneven, scalloped, or notched.
C for COLOR variations. Having a variety of colors is a warning signal for melanoma.
D for DIAMETER greater than 1/4”. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil.
E for EVOLVING or changing. Any changes in size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching or crusting points to danger.
The medical term for moles is nevi.
After receiving a comprehensive skin exam, if the mole needs to be further evaluated, a biopsy (small tissue sample of the mole) will be performed and evaluated by a board certified dermatolopathologist.
We can perform a thorough body check to ensure your moles are either harmless or removed to further check for complications. call 402-467-4361 to schedule your appointment.