Should I Be Concerned About My Moles?

Your moles are a part of you. You’re used to looking at that mole on your arm, leg, or chest. But what if the mole starts to change? Since moles can sometimes become cancerous, learn what to look for so you can head off trouble before it becomes a problem. 

At Seacoast Dermatology, our board-certified dermatologists are experts on everything about your skin, including your moles. They can tell whether a mole is suspicious and when one isn’t. 

What is a mole? 

Moles are simply skin cells that have grown tightly packed together instead of spread out on your skin as the rest of your skin cells are. 

Most moles are harmless, but on occasion they can become cancerous and proliferate to the point of becoming melanoma, a skin cancer that is deadly if left untreated. 

What are the signs of a dangerous mole?   

An easy system to identify a potential problem mole is to use the first five letters of the alphabet. If you see any of the following signs on any of your moles, it’s time to call us Seacoast Dermatology for an appointment. 

Asymmetry 

You’re used to looking at a round mole. But what if one side of the mole now looks different in shape or size than the other half? This is a potential sign that some cells could be abnormal.

Border 

Look at the mole. It should be round. If the edges look torn or simply aren’t round, you should have one of our dermatologists take a look. 

Color

If your mole has been brown or black your whole life but now you’re seeing different colors, contact us for an evaluation. Gradations of any color may be a sign of abnormal cell development. 

Diameter

Most moles are small. That’s one reason you just don’t really notice them much. If a mole appears to grow larger, and if it’s bigger than the head of a pencil eraser, you should see one of our dermatologists. It may be a harmless change, but we can check to be sure.

Evolution 

This term sums up the first four categories of problematic moles. Any change in size, shape, or color is a signal that you should see a dermatologist. 

Other warning signs 

In addition to these warning signs, we might add a sixth letter: Feeling. If your mole starts to feel itchy, tender, or painful, please give our office a call. Likewise, if you detect any blood or scales on a mole, it’s time to come in for an appointment. Sometimes these are signs of melanoma

Annual appointment 

Seeing a dermatologist for an annual appointment is a health care best practice. It’s an easy preventive step you can take to help ensure your good health. Of course, if you spot a problem in the interim, please call us right away and we’ll schedule an appointment promptly. 

Suspicious moles

If we think a mole is suspicious, we do a biopsy. We call you when the lab report comes back to determine if you need further treatment. If you do, we excise the mole and the skin around its edges to ensure that any abnormal cells are gone. 

Call us at Seacoast Dermatology today for expert care of your skin at one of our four convenient locations. We’re located in Portsmouth, Dover, and Exeter, New Hampshire. We also offer telederm appointments.

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