Conditions: Moles

What are moles?

Also known as nevi, moles are an easily recognizable skin condition present in the majority of adults. People may be born with moles, or they may appear on the skin throughout childhood and adolescence. They may increase in size over time and are usually harmless.

What causes moles?

When a specific type of skin cell, called a melanocyte, begins to grow in clusters rather than spreading throughout the skin, these clusters of cells form moles. Naturally occurring pigmentation in these melanocytes give moles their color; however, this color may darken due to pregnancy, aging, or sun exposure.

Can I self-diagnose a potentially dangerous mole?

The short answer is no. It is close to impossible to know for sure if a mole is dangerous or not just by looking at it. However, there are some characteristics to consider if you are wondering if you should get a mole checked.

Remember the ABCDE's of skin disorder identification:

A is for Asymmetry: Is the mole visually lopsided?
B is for Border: Does the mole have an irregular border? It may be notched, ragged, or blurred.
C is for Color: Does the mole have uneven color with shades of brown, black, and tan?
D is for Diameter: Is your mole an odd or large in diameter or shape?
E is for Evolving: Have you noticed your mole changing in appearance?

It is always best to be safe - get any suspicious moles checked by one of our board-certified dermatologists.

What happens if a mole goes untreated?

It is important to know that every mole is different. If it's just a harmless mole, it requires no treatment and will have no adverse outcome. However, it's best to know for sure.

Next steps toward proper mole identification

Our Board-Certified Dermatologists and PA-C will take you through consultation, diagnosis, and treatment as efficiently as possible. Have a professional put your mind at ease. Contact us for an appointment today.

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