Medical Dermatology

Moles

Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Their colors can range from light brown to red, blue, dark brown, gray and even black. They may be flat, slightly raised, smooth or rough and may contain dark hairs. Most moles are referred to as benign nevi and, with no changes to them, are harmless. The term dysplastic nevus refers to moles that contain abnormal or atypical cells, which means that changes in the mole, under the skin, have begun to occur. These dysplastic nevi have a greater potential for becoming a melanoma skin cancer, so all dysplastic moles should be removed.

What Causes It?

Everyone has moles. Over time they usually enlarge and some may develop hairs. As time passes, moles can slowly become raised or change color. Some may not change at all. Dermatologists can identify benign and potentially serious moles with ease in most cases, because of the training we have all had and our expertise in identifying potentially dangerous skin lesions.

What Can Be Done?

Anyone with a personal or family history of skin cancer should maintain a relationship with their dermatology practitioner for annual monitoring and removal of suspicious moles. It is important to recognize early warning signs of potential concerns such as changes in color, shape or size of a mole. Other warning signs include lesions that itch, bleed, or burn. A mole can appear individually anywhere on the body. Some people may wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons; we do recommend that any mole that changes in any way be evaluated and removed if deemed necessary. A mole can be removed by shave excision or by excision with sutures, depending on where the mole is, and the end cosmetic result that we want to provide to our patients. Whenever the skin is “cut,” a scar is possible. The team at Gold Skin Care Center is well versed in always minimizing any potential scar and if one does occur, the Center is well-versed in all methods to treat and reduce that scar.