When To See A Dermatologist For A Mole
Moles are common—most of us have many all over our bodies. However, on rare occasions, moles can become cancerous and require prompt treatment.
Moles are common—most of us have many all over our bodies. However, on rare occasions, moles can become cancerous and require prompt treatment. In most cases, even if a mole has changed from benign to malignant, the prognosis is excellent—as long as the changes are caught early.
So when should you seek professional treatment for a mole? The following looks at the clinical signs and symptoms that would warrant a visit to a dermatologist.
Moles, Changes, and When You Should Seek Advice
- All about moles
- The ABCDE of moles
All about moles
Moles are caused by clusters of pigment-causing cells clumping together, therefore causing a darker spot that we call a mole. Most are completely harmless. However, in some cases, a mole can evolve and become malignant. This type of skin cancer is known as melanoma. If this occurs and is treated early enough, there is a 100% chance of survival.
This makes checking and monitoring the moles on your body something that should be done regularly.
Many of the problems associated with cancerous moles are caused by sun damage. This is why it’s so important to always use a high-factor sun cream to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
The ABCDE of moles
The main thing to look out for is a mole that changes in any way. This can easily be explained by the A B C D E approach.
- A is for Asymmetry: Healthy moles are generally symmetrical in shape. If a mole changes shape, so one half doesn’t match the other, then this would be a red flag.
- B is for Border: Most moles have fairly even borders. If this becomes uneven then it might be cause for concern.
- C is for Color: If a mole changes color, perhaps to black, tan, brown, or red, then it should be looked at by a dermatologist.
- D is for Diameter: Moles that grow larger than ¼ of an inch should be checked out—that’s roughly larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- E is for Evolution: This means a mole that changes in size, shape, color, elevation, or shows another new symptom, such as bleeding, itching, or crusting.
Everything You Need to Know About Mole Removal
- Mole removal procedures
- What to expect after mole removal
Mole removal procedures
Moles are generally removed under local anesthetic. The area is numbed so you won’t feel a thing, and then the mole is cut away. The wound is closed, using sutures if necessary, and covered with a dressing.
You can generally return home the same day, with any discomfort being treated with over-the-counter pain relief.
What to expect after mole removal
The removed tissue will be sent to a laboratory for analysis. You’ll be informed whether or not it was cancerous in the few days after this. You might have to return to the doctor’s office for the wound to be inspected and/or redressed.
Once the results are back from the lab, any further necessary treatment will be discussed with you. In the majority of cases, mole excision is wholly successful. There are some occasions when a further operation might be needed and, occasionally, moles might return in the future.
Worried About a Mole? Contact Bayou City Dermatology Today
The most important thing to understand about moles is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’ve got even the slightest inkling that a mole might have changed in shape, color, or size then it’s imperative to get it checked out by a dermatologist.
At Bayou City Dermatology we specialize in moles. From determining if a mole might warrant more investigation right through to removal procedures, at BCD you’re in safe hands right from the first point of contact.
Visit our website at https://www.bayoucitydermatology.com to discover more and call today to make your mole dermatology appointment without delay.