While the majority of moles are harmless, it’s best to have them checked regularly for any unusual signs. Dermatologists routinely check moles during skin examinations. Mole checks are simple and straightforward and allow your dermatologist to evaluate any changes in your moles. In most cases, the mole check process only takes a few minutes and is completely painless.
These mole checks can be performed on any patient who is concerned about their moles. They are especially important for patients with numerous moles, peculiar looking moles or a family history of melanoma in a sibling or parent. People with any of these factors may have a statistically increased risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is a potentially dangerous skin cancer that is curable if detected early.
Skin cancer often goes undetected because it can appear in different forms and in places that are difficult to see. By getting yourself screened at least once a year, you’re taking the first step in detecting skin cancer in its early stages. Therefore, it’s especially important for patients in Phoenix to schedule a yearly mole check.
The following ABCDEs are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:
Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
Border: The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred or irregular.
Color: The mole has different colors or it has multiple shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red.
Diameter: The diameter of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser.
Elevation/Evolution: The mole becomes elevated (raised off the skin) or the mole is changing.