Posts for tag: Mole
At Atlanta Center for Dermatological Diseases, we can provide screening and skin cancer treatment in Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Sandy Springs, GA, for residents throughout the area. For example, we can help you decide if your new mole is a problem or not. In most cases, your mole is probably not something you need to worry about, but there are times when it is worrisome.
Moles Shouldn't Be a Big Concern
Moles are very common and indicate a minor mutation in your skin cells. This mutation is not at all like that of a cancer cell and is perfectly safe. That said, UV exposure may mutate these cells further, as they are at a higher risk of mutation than normal cells. As a result, they could become cancerous. Thankfully, proper sunscreen or shading when outside should help to minimize your risk here.
Even New Moles May Not Be a Problem
Did you develop a new mole out of nowhere? You probably don't need screening or skin cancer treatment in Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Sandy Springs, GA, just yet. New moles are not uncommon and typically occur on people who already have many. However, each new mole does increase your melanoma risk. So, when is it time to start worrying?
When You Should See a Doctor About a Mole
Did you notice that your mole changed in some way that you weren't expecting? In this situation, you are right to be worried about your mole and may need to see a dermatologist or cancer specialist right away. Ways that your mole may change include when:
- Your mole gets bigger or continues to grow or expand unexpectedly
- It starts to itch or bleed, as moles should not cause these symptoms
- Your mole starts to look lumpier or doesn't have a symmetric shape anymore
- You notice your mole changing colors or possessing multiple colors
Changing mole colors often include red, white, blue, tan, or black, depending on the original mole color. If you spot any of these symptoms, there's a chance that your mole may be mutating and needs to be checked immediately. However, waiting too long is a potential danger that could put your life at risk. We're not trying to scare you, but immediate action is critical.
Get Help Today
If you're concerned about a mole and want to get it checked out, please contact us at Atlanta Center for Dermatological Diseases. We can provide screening and skin cancer treatment in Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, and Sandy Springs, GA. Call our Sandy Springs office at (404) 252-4333, Roswell at (770) 751-1133, Alpharetta at (770) 664-5225, or Cumming at (770) 844-1902 to get started.
Remember Your ABCDEs
This easy-to-remember acronym will help you spot those signs of skin cancer whenever you examine moles yourself. This is what it stands for,
- A is for asymmetry: A healthy mole will be perfectly circular and symmetrical. If you find that half of the mole is shaped differently from the other half, this could be a sign of pre-cancerous growth.
- B is for a border: A healthy mole will have a clearly defined border. If the mole has a jagged or an even or poorly defined border, it’s time to visit your dermatologist.
- C is for color: A healthy mole will remain a singular color throughout your life. If the mole changes color or develops multiple colors this could be a sign of skin cancer.
- D is for diameter: A healthy mole is typically smaller than a pencil eraser (under 5mm). Moles over 5mm, or larger than a pencil eraser, may be cause for concern. Large moles warrant seeing a dermatologist.
- E is for evolving: A healthy mole will remain the same over the course of your lifetime. So, if you notice it changing at all then it’s worth having a dermatologist look at it.
Along with remembering your ABCDEs, it’s also a good idea to look for,
- New moles: Just because you develop a new mole doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cancerous; however, if you start noticing any new moles developing past the age of 20 (particularly on the face, neck, shoulder, or other sun-exposed areas), this warrants an evaluation with a skincare professional.
- Troublesome moles: Do you have a mole that bleeds, itches, crusts over, or is painful or tender? If so, the mole should be checked out.
Mole Removal: What to Expect
Worried about that mole? A mole is a dark spot or irregularity in the skin. Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. Simply thinking about having a skin mole removed might send shivers down your spine, but sometimes it’s necessary for your health. For example, if a biopsy is cancerous, removing the mole can help to stop any cancer from growing more. But many individuals also have moles removed for cosmetic reasons.
What Causes Moles?
Skin moles occur in all races and skin colors. Some individuals are born with moles. Most skin moles appear in early childhood and during the first 20 years of a person's life. New moles appearing after age 35 may require medical evaluation, and possible biopsy. Some moles appear later in life. Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of skin moles. People with high levels of exposure to UV light tend to have more moles. However, moles may also occur in sun-protected areas.
How Is It Done?
Mole removal is a simple kind of surgical procedure. Your doctor will likely choose one of two ways: surgical shave or surgical excision. Surgical shave is done more often on small skin moles. After numbing the area, your healthcare provider will use a blade to shave off the mole and some tissue underneath it. Stitches aren’t usually required. During the surgical excision procedure, your doctor will numb the area. He or she will use a circular blade or scalpel to cut out the mole and some skin around it. The doctor will then stitch the skin closed.
Can a Mole Grow Back?
There's a small chance that a mole can grow back after mole surgery, although there's no way to predict whether this will happen. It's important to understand that no surgery has a 100 percent cure rate. Some mole cells may remain in the skin and may recur in the same area. Some skin moles are more aggressive than others and need closer follow-up and additional treatment.
Are There Any Risks?
Risks of mole removal methods include infection, rare anesthetic allergy, and very rare nerve damage. Follow your doctor's instructions to care for the wound until it heals. This means keeping it covered, clean and moist. The area may bleed a little when you get home, especially if you take medications that thin your blood. It's always prudent to choose a doctor with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. This will lower the risks associated with this procedure.
Take charge of your health today. Regular self-skin examinations and annual skin examinations by a doctor help people find early skin cancers. If you need a mole check, find a dermatologist near you and schedule your annual skin cancer screening.A simple skin cancer screening could save your life.