Everyone has moles. For some, like model and actress Cindy Crawford, a mole may be called a beauty spot. For most people, though, moles are simply part of your skin’s appearance, and you don’t think too much about them.
Whether you have 10 or 100 moles, you should check them regularly to see if they’ve changed in appearance. Moles can become cancerous. Although it’s fairly rare for moles to turn cancerous, you’re more at risk if you have a lot of small moles or a few large ones.
Our board-certified dermatologists at Seacoast Dermatology examine moles and all of your skin at your annual checkup. But if you see a change in a mole before your checkup, make an appointment so we can determine whether we need to remove it.
Most moles are harmless, but sometimes moles can become melanomas, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Following are signs of a cancerous mole.
Moles are usually round. If you notice that half of the diameter of a mole doesn’t match up to the other half, call one of our offices so that we can check out the mole.
Do you notice a mole that was previously round now has a jagged, irregular, or blurred edge? That’s another sign that you should call us for an appointment.
A color change
Most moles are brown or tan. If you have a mole that has changed color, please call so we can examine it. If the mole has become blue, white, red, or any other color aside from its original color, we need to check it.
A large mole
Has a mole grown in size? If the mole is now larger than the eraser on the head of a No. 2 pencil, it needs to be examined.
Itching or bleeding
Do you see blood coming from a mole? Is it tender? Maybe the mole itches. If your mole has any of these sensations or signs, please call us so we can have you come in.
In summary, if you see a mole that has changed in size, shape, or color, or a mole begins to itch, bleed, or become tender, please call for an appointment.
The mole may have precancerous cells. Catching signs of cancer early makes recovery easier and quicker. As with any cancer, early treatment is always preferable.
Call us at one of our convenient locations — Portsmouth, Exeter, or Dover, New Hampshire — for all of your skin health needs.