Most people have a mole somewhere on their body. Moles are common and some people have hundreds however, most people only have a few. Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient’s skin type and age, benign but unattractive moles may be treated with shave removal, surgical excision or laser.
The biggest factor to know about moles is that melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, can develop around or within a mole. Some types of moles can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. You can learn what to look for if you know your ABCDE’s.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology performing regular skin self-exams can help people recognize suspicious mole activity that can lead to melanoma. Be on the lookout for suspicious moles with the ABCDE’s of melanoma detection.
A is for ASYMMETRY: One half is unlike the other.
B is for BORDER: Irregular scalloped or poorly defined border.
C is for COLOR: Varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
D is for DIAMETER: While melanomas are usually larger than a pencil eraser in size, they can be smaller.
E is for EVOLVING: Moles that appear to be different from the rest or is changing in shape, color or size.
If you have any bothersome or concerning moles, be sure to make an appointment to see your dermatologist right away. Most moles are not cancerous, but a dermatologist can assure you that the mole is harmless, or perform a biopsy to make sure you remain in tiptop skin shape.