A mole, medically termed melanocytic nevus, is a very common skin growth. You may notice some moles stick around your entire life, while others pop up after prolonged periods in the sun. Most moles are harmless. However, there are certain moles that warrant concern. These are moles that have an abnormal shape or change in appearance over time. Such moles can lead to malignant melanoma. Suspicious moles need to be removed by a board certified dermatologist.
How do you know whether a mole is “suspicious” or not? In addition to seeing a dermatologist for annual full body skin checks, you should do your own mole monitoring at home. Don’t worry; it is a simple and quick task that needs to be done every few months.
How to Check a Mole
Moles can appear anywhere on the body. Therefore, you may need someone to help you examine the moles on the back of your neck and back. When checking each mole, all you need to remember is your ABC’s:
- Asymmetry: Is one half of the mole different from the other half?
- Border: Is the border or edges of the mole blurred, ragged or smudgy?
- Color: Does the mole contain different colors such as black, blue, white, or red?
- Diameter: Is the diameter of the mole larger than the diameter of a pencil?
- Evolving: Is your mole changing in size, color or shape?
If your mole check reveals any of these aspects, go ahead and contact one of our physicians at Olansky Dermatology Associates. We will use advanced techniques to confirm whether a mole needs to be removed or not. Mole removal can be done in our office. It is a very straightforward procedure with minimal discomfort.