When to See a Doctor For a Mole?

Moles on your skin may mean a lot of things. Sometimes they are harmless, while in other cases, they may indicate a skin problem. Moles may also develop into skin cancer. Evaluating your skin regularly can help notice the moles and take precautions before they become dangerous. Speaking to a dermatologist can also help provide solutions. The Fort Worth moles specialists at Northstar Dermatology offer comprehensive exams and treatments to remove moles and restore your appearance. This article will help you with everything you need to know about moles.

What is a mole?

It is a pigmented skin lesion that occurs when melanocytes grow together into a cluster. Melanocytes are cells that enhance your skin color.

Usually, most moles mean no harm; however, they may also develop into skin cancer, usually melanoma. UV light exposure from the sun destroys the DNA in the melanocytes. The damage causes the DNA to change, causing the cells to develop abnormally, leading to melanoma.

When detected early, there are successful treatments for melanoma. When not detected, melanoma may spread to other parts of the body. It gets deadly and hard to treat when melanoma multiplies.

Moles usually appear as small brown spots. But the color varies and may include red, blue, black, or pink. Their texture also varies, some are smooth while others appear wrinkled.

Most moles are round or oval-shaped. They are usually small, with a diameter of less than a quarter inch. When present at birth, moles are usually bigger and may cover a part of your face.

Usually, moles may develop anywhere on the body, including on your armpits, scalp, fingers, toes, or under the nails.

Melanoma moles appear as follows.

  •         One half is not the same as the other half
  •         Has uneven color
  •         Has irregular borders
  •         Changes in size, shape, and color
  •         A large diameter of more than 6 millimeters

When to see a doctor?

It is essential to go for medical evaluation when you notice a mole with the following;

  •         Hurts, burns, or itches
  •         Bleeds
  •         Grows rapidly
  •         Rough or scaly texture
  •         Different from the surrounding moles
  •         Changes
  •         New

These signs may indicate your mole is potentially cancerous. The mole may develop itchiness or bleeding when irritated by clothing.

Treating a mole

During your consultation, your provider at Northstar Dermatology performs a comprehensive evaluation of your mole and a physical skin exam to check for other potential issues. Once they identify a mole, they treat it by removing it using excision or a shave biopsy.

A shave biopsy involves your provider using a thin blade to shave away your mole. Excision occurs by cutting around the mole and removing the healthy skin around the mole.

Then your provider sends the tissue to a lab to examine the presence of cancer. The team also confirms the removal of all cancer by checking the margins.

Preventing moles

You can prevent moles’ development by protecting your skin from UV light sun exposure. The following measures may help;

  •         Applying sunscreen
  •         Staying away from the sun during its peak
  •         Wear protective clothing, including sunglasses, hats, and long sleeves
  •         Avoiding tanning beds and lamps

Contact Northstar Dermatology for evaluation if you have a strange mole on your skin. Call today to schedule your appointment.