Moles are a nearly universal feature of the skin. While these small growths are usually harmless, they can harbor skin cancer if left unexamined. Regular self-examinations and professional skin evaluations are necessary to ensure the continued health of your moles.
At Worcester and Chelmsford Dermatology Associates, we are dedicated to providing our clients with both the information and dermatological care that they need to maintain healthy, beautiful skin. For more details about our practice or any of the services we offer, contact us today.
What are They?
Moles are small flat or protruding skin growths that nearly everyone has. In fact, most people have between 10-40 moles on their bodies by the time they reach adulthood. These skin features develop in shades of pink, brown, and black varieties, and are typically harmless. However, if exposed to prolonged sunlight, they have the potential to become cancerous. Understanding the way your moles are growing and changing can help you pick up on potential signs of skin cancer early.
While moles can develop at any stage of life, most of them form during childhood and adolescence. A mole changing size, shape, and color during childhood is a normal part of development, but these same changes during adulthood could be early indicators of skin cancer or disease.
It’s important to perform regular self-checks on your skin and undergo yearly examinations by a trained dermatologist. This ensures that you’re keeping tabs on any changes that take place in your moles, and are better able to catch skin cancer early so that it can be treated quickly and effectively.
While moles are harmless the majority of the time, they have the potential to become cancerous. If you have one or more moles that have begun to change in size, shape, or color, you should seek medical attention immediately. One of our trained dermatological specialists can examine your mole carefully and decide if it needs to be removed. Moles can also be removed for aesthetic reasons. They can develop in particularly noticeable areas, or be located in places where they rub uncomfortably against clothing.
Removing a mole is a relatively straightforward and uncomplicated procedure. The treatment area is first numbed to improve patient comfort. Once it has been thoroughly numbed, the mole is scooped out of the skin using a scalpel. If the mole was suspected of being cancerous, it is usually sent to a lab for further identification and testing. When the wound heals, the color of the mole usually remains while the raised portion is entirely removed.
Interested in having your moles checked out? Don’t hesitate — contact Worcester and Chelmsford Dermatology Associates today to schedule a skin examination or mole removal appointment.