Moles: helpful information for area residents
Nearly every adult has at least one mole (nevus). Most moles are nothing to worry about. However, the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma, may arise in or near a mole. The team of providers at Allied Dermatology and Skin Surgery, with offices in Akron, Mayfield Heights, and Mentor, are experts in evaluation of moles. They encourage you to gain a basic understanding of moles, check your skin monthly, and schedule annual skin cancer screening appointments.
akron – mayfield heights – mentor
More about molesA mole appears when melanocytes, cells that create pigmentation in skin, grow clustered rather than evenly distributed. Mole characteristics include:
- Brown or black.
- Round or oval.
- Rough or smooth.
- Raised or flat.
- Less than a quarter inch in diameter.
- Anywhere on the body.
- Usually show up by age 20.
- Last about 50 years.
When to seek treatmentTwo types of moles have an above-average risk of developing into skin cancer – larger congenital nevi present at birth, and atypical dysplastic nevi with an irregular shape or color.
You should have a dermatologist check any mole as soon as you notice a change. Remember your ABCDEs:
- Asymmetry – Half of the mole does not look like the other portion.
- Border – Edges are scalloped, irregular, or vague.
- Color – Variations in shading.
- Diameter – Larger than a pencil eraser.
- Evolving – Change in shape, size, texture, or color. A mole that looks different from others. A mole that begins to itch or bleed.