Most people have moles. Though there’s a connection between moles and melanoma — the most severe skin cancer — most moles are harmless. If you have concerns about a mole, the dermatologists at Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology can evaluate the growth and provide recommendations. Call the office in Cumming, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Johns Creek, Toccoa, or Canton, Georgia, or go online to schedule an appointment today.
Moles are harmless skin growths that form from a cluster of melanocytes, your pigment-producing cells. Moles can be skin-colored, brown, or black.
Moles develop on any skin area and can form alone or in clusters. Most moles develop during childhood, and by the time you’re an adult, you could have anywhere from 10-40 moles.
There are many kinds of moles, some completely harmless. But others put you at risk of melanoma, a fast-growing deadly skin cancer.
The kinds of moles include:
A common mole, or nevus, is a normal mole. Most people have common moles that are usually small and have a distinct edge.
Congenital moles are skin growths you have when you’re born. These moles vary in size. Larger congenital moles can increase your risk of developing melanoma.
Atypical moles, also called dysplastic nevi, can look like melanoma but are not. These moles are larger than common moles and have an irregular shape and varying colors throughout.
If you have more than three atypical moles, you’re at greater risk of developing melanoma. You should schedule an appointment at Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology right away.
Spitz nevus is a raised, pink growth that looks like melanoma. They can also bleed.
Melanoma is a skin cancer that looks like an abnormal mole. When examining your skin, you should closely monitor your moles to look for signs of melanoma.
Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology uses the ABCDE acronym to identify moles that might be melanoma:
Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology recommends you do a skin check once a month. Regular skin checks help you become familiar with your normal moles, making it easier to spot abnormal ones.
When you visit Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology because of concerns about moles, your dermatologist completes a thorough skin exam, looking at your moles and other abnormal growths.
They use a special tool with a light and magnifying device to closely examine the pigments in your skin. If they have any concerns about a mole, they remove it and send it to the lab for analysis.
The dermatologists can also remove moles that affect your appearance or cause discomfort.
Call Cleaver Medical Group Dermatology today or schedule an appointment online for expert care of moles.