If you have moles, it is important to keep an eye on them for any significant changes which can be a sign of skin cancer. Most people have moles on their skin and moles can appear anywhere on your body. Although your pattern of moles is most likely determined by your genetics, sun exposure can cause you to have more moles, and can cause the ones you already have to get darker. New moles tend to appear and existing ones tend to get larger and darker during the teen years and during pregnancy.
Moles may change over time. They may get bigger, grow a hair, become more raised, get lighter in color, or fade away. Many people develop new moles until about age 40. Most of these are normal changes. But some changes in moles or skin growths are caused by skin cancer.
If you have a mole, you may be wondering if it’s harmless or if you should see your dermatologist about it. It is important to have a suspicious mole checked since it could be an early sign of melanoma, which is a potentially fatal form of skin cancer.
Examine your skin regularly to check for new moles or changes in existing ones. When you examine your moles, remember the following guidelines for potentially harmful moles:
Asymmetry: A mole in which one side does not match the other.
Border that is irregular: A mole with a scalloped or poorly defined border.
Color that is varied: A mole that consists of more than one color.
Diameter that is large: A mole that has a diameter larger than a pencil eraser.
Evolving: A mole that has gotten bigger over time, or has changed its shape or color.
If you are concerned about moles getting bigger or any other changes in your skin that you may have noticed, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology in Phoenix at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com. Dr. Holy can provide you with a complete skin evaluation and address any issues that you may have.