Most moles tend to develop during the first twenty years of our lives, but it is not uncommon for them to appear later on. These small clusters of colored skin cells may appear dark brown or black and can either be flat along the surface of the skin or slightly elevated. Because moles can appear anywhere on your body, it is good to keep track of where they are located, so you are able to notice if and when they undergo changes.
Most of your moles, even the suspicious, quirky looking ones, are probably normal and not a threat to your health, but the possibility of a cancerous mole should not be taken lightly or ignored. The key to playing it safe is a keen awareness of certain kinds of change.
The ABCDE’s are a quick and easy way to identify potential issues with a mole or skin growth. If you have one or more of the following warning signs for melanoma, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Know Your ABCDE’s :
Asymmetry – A round, circular mole is no cause for concern, but if you are unable to draw a line down its middle without getting two basically matching halves, your irregular, asymmetrical mole should be checked out.
Border – Uneven, jagged, or poorly defined borders may also be cause for concern. Non-cancerous moles usually have relatively smooth, round edges.
Color – Regular moles tend to be a consistent shade of brown, black or grey. Melanoma lesions, however, can have different shades of pigment scattered throughout them. Melanomas may also appear as a non-pigmented bump on the surface of your skin, so a lack of color on an odd bump or growth should also be taken into consideration.
Diameter – The size of a pencil eraser is about 6 millimeters in diameter. Anything larger than 6 mm should be regularly examined by a professional.
Evolution – If a mole or skin lesion looks different than the rest, or if it is changing in size, shape, color, elevation, or has any other characteristics like itching, tenderness, pain, oozing, flaking or bleeding, consult a doctor immediately.
The important underlying factor to be noted throughout melanoma prevention is change. If your doctor examines a suspicious mole and considers it potentially dangerous, a biopsy will be performed to acquire a diagnosis.
While many awkward looking moles are not dangerous, they may be the cause of severe discomfort. Moles do not have to be dangerous to be removed. In fact, the process of having your moles removed is easy, relatively simple and not very painful. One of the keys to a successful removal procedure is finding a medical expert with great skill and experience in removal.
If you are tired of living with an uncomfortable, ugly, or potentially dangerous mole please consult with one of our experts here at FirstMed. Now through the end of summer we are offering special Saturday consultation visits with one of our most experienced doctors who has helped many people get rid of their uncomfortable moles through the safe and easy process of hyfrecation.
by Anna Paksy