Almost every person has at least one mole on their skin. These raised, dark spots are made up of skin cells, called melanocytes, that have grown in a group instead of individually. Some people are born with these moles – sometimes called birthmarks. Others acquire moles throughout childhood and during their first 25 years, sometimes increasing during pregnancy. Some moles can form and darken from exposure to the sun, and some are inherited genetically. It’s quite normal to have from 10 – 40 of these brown or black spots appearing anywhere on the skin by the time you are an adult. And most of the time, they are absolutely harmless.
However, as the years pass, your mole(s) could slowly change becoming raised, changing color, growing hairs, and even disappearing. These changes may signal the presence of melanoma, or skin cancer. It’s important to pay attention to these changes to your skin and perform skin self-exams at least every three months (monthly if you have a relative with skin cancer) to see if your moles have changed. Any changes in your moles should be checked by a reputable dermatologist such as Wasserman Ulitsky Dermatology in Venice, Florida.
Your local Venice dermatologist can analyze and determine your type of mole so that you know what to keep an eye on.
Although most moles aren’t dangerous, it’s important to have them evaluated regularly. You can conduct regular self-exams using the well-known ABCDE of melanoma detection:
Even if your mole or birthmark is completely benign, you may want to have it removed because you find it unattractive. Cosmetic dermatology experts like our doctors at Wasserman Ulitsky Dermatology offer a variety of safe mole removal methods, depending on the depth, location, color, and other factors. These methods include:
It’s so important to consult your doctor or a dermatologist about a suspicious skin mole since it may be an early sign of malignant melanoma, which is a life-threatening form of skin cancer. This is where we can help. Did you know that Dr. Wasserman has particular interest and expertise in skin pathology and dermatologic surgery. He has published multiple articles in pathology and general dermatology in peer-reviewed medical journals, and he has written a book chapter on infectious disease. If you have a mole that you are concerned about, or would like removed, call your Venice, Florida dermatologist at (941) 484-8222.