Most people have moles, and most moles are no cause for concern. Unfortunately, changes in moles can also signal the development of skin cancer. Regular mole checks by your dermatologist can help identify abnormal moles, so they can be treated early.
What Are Moles?
Moles are caused by the clumping of skin cells called melanocytes. These skin cells are responsible for skin color.
What Normal Moles Look Like
Normal moles will be small, with even, well-defined borders. They are usually tan, light brown, or medium brown in color.
What Abnormal Moles Look Like
Abnormal moles are larger, with a diameter of over 6 millimeters. They will have ragged, poorly defined borders, and they may bleed, itch, or ooze fluid.
Different Types of Moles
Moles develop in several different types:
- Common nevus, which is a normal mole
- Congenital nevus, which develop before birth
- Dysplastic nevus, which is an irregularly shaped, larger mole that can develop into melanoma
How Regular Mole Checks Can Help You
Regular mole checks at least once each year can help identify potentially abnormal moles, so they can be biopsied to determine if cancerous cells are present. Early diagnosis of skin cancer leads to a better outcome for you.
What To Expect During a Mole Check
During a mole check, your dermatologist will examine your skin, making note of moles which appear abnormal. Our dermatologist may take a sample of tissue or remove the mole entirely to be biopsied. During a biopsy, the tissue sample is examined under a microscope for cancerous changes on a cellular level.
How Moles are Removed
Your dermatologist may remove moles by either freezing, burning, shaving, or excising the mole.
Want To Know More?
To discover more about the importance of regular mole checks and what to look for, talk with an expert. Call the dermatologists at Southside Dermatology. You can reach them in Tulsa, OK, by calling (918) 760-0700, or in Muskogee, at (918) 840-5276, or in Broken Arrow, OK, by calling (918) 770-4599. Call today.