When Should I Have a Mole Removed?
Whether you think of them as a “beauty mark” or as a nuisance, moles are a common skin formation that can appear almost anywhere on your body. Many people have moles that have been with them for decades, never causing any problems. But with the high levels of skin cancer and the link to moles, many people wonder if they should have certain moles removed. Here are some tips on identifying suspicious moles and when to visit a dermatologist for mole removal.
Signs of Cancerous Moles
The majority of cancerous moles appear in adulthood, but it is possible for an existing mole from childhood to become cancerous. Moles that do not change and are regular in form are usually not a concern, but a mole can be removed if it bothers you for any reason. Some signs a mole may be cancerous include:
- Asymmetrical. Moles that are odd shaped instead of symmetrical or change in symmetry
- Borders. If the border around the mole is irregular or jagged
- Colors. Darkening or changing colors in moles, or oddly-colored new moles
- Growth. Moles that continue to grow or change in size
Any significant changes in existing moles or new moles that look different than others should be diagnosed by a dermatologist. Often, they will examine the mole and then remove it. Once removed, it can be tested and examined to determine if it is cancerous or pre-cancerous.
If you have a mole that you want examined or removed for any reason, see your local dermatologist. Mole removal can usually be performed during an office visit but should only be completed by a medical professional.
Posted on behalf of:
Medical Dermatology Specialists
5730 Glenridge Drive, Suite T-100
Atlanta GA 30328
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