A mole can be a charming facial feature, an unsightly distraction, or a cause for alarm. We can help you tell the difference.
Normal moles You may have normal moles (normal nevi) that differ in size, shape, and color. Some may have hair. They may change appearance slowly over time or even disappear entirely. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin: on your scalp, between your fingers and toes, on the soles of your feet or palms of your hands, even under your nails.
Atypical moles Also known as atypical nevi or dysplastic nevi, these moles may appear anywhere on the body— often on the torso, scalp, head, and neck but rarely on the face. They may look like melanoma but are not cancerous:
Although benign, atypical moles indicate an increased risk of developing the skin cancer melanoma. You have a greater chance of developing melanoma at an early age if you have:
Atypical Mole Syndrome For some people, the number and characteristics of their moles make them at exceptionally high risk of developing melanoma. These patients have:
Not all moles need treatment. If you think a mole is unsightly or uncomfortable, or if we suspect the possibility of skin cancer, we can remove the mole in one of two ways:
If a mole grows back it could be a sign of skin cancer. Make an appointment with us immediately.
Whether or not your moles put you in a high-risk category for skin cancer, you should practice responsible sun protection and early skin cancer detection techniques.
Annual cancer screening Have us perform a professional, full-body skin cancer screening at least once a year. Make your appointment now.
Monthly self-exams Examine your skin at least once a month. If you see a new, rapidly growing spot or a growth that is changing rapidly, itching, or bleeding for two weeks, call us immediately. Get a free self-exam worksheet.
Sun safety Protect your skin from the sun: