Most moles are harmless, but you should still consider getting annual skin checks because moles exposed to too much radiation from the sun or tanning beds can turn into the deadliest form of skin cancer: melanoma.
Melanoma is curable when diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Without treatment, however, it spreads to other parts of your body, where it often becomes a fatal disease. .
The team at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah evaluates your risk of developing skin cancer and performs full body skin checks, carefully looking at all the moles on your body to be sure they’re not cancerous.
You can choose to have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons, but it’s essential to eliminate any moles that are suspicious for melanoma.
Melanoma may appear as a new brown or black spot on your skin. In most cases, however, the cancer begins in an existing mole. As melanoma grows, the mole’s appearance changes. That’s the sign that it’s time to schedule a skin check and mole removal.
The changes that occur due to cancer are called the ABCDE rule. Watch for:
If one half of the mole doesn’t look like the other half, you should have it checked.
Uneven, ragged, or blurred edges indicate cancerous changes.
Whether it’s brown, black, or tan, a normal mole is one color. Multiple colors or shades of white, red, gray, or blue are signs of skin cancer.
If your mole is one-quarter of an inch in diameter or larger, it needs an evaluation for melanoma.
Healthy moles don’t change their appearance. If you have a mole that changes in size, shape, color, or texture, it’s a sign of melanoma.
Your provider at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah uses two different techniques to remove a healthy-looking mole. They may cut out the mole or use a surgical blade to shave it off.
After removing the mole, they send the tissues to a lab, where a specialist examines them under a microscope to ensure there aren’t any cancer cells.
If your mole appears cancerous, the team may recommend Mohs surgery. As specialists in performing the Mohs technique, they can remove the mole and ensure all the cancer cells are gone while preserving as much healthy skin as possible.
To schedule a skin check or mole removal, call Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah, or request an appointment online today.