Moles, also known as nevi, are common skin growths that can appear on almost any area of the body. While most Chevy Chase moles/nevi are benign, some can develop into a type of skin cancer called melanoma. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of potential issues and to seek treatment if necessary. Here are warning signs that you should seek treatment for your moles.
One of the most common warning signs of a dangerous mole is asymmetry. A normal mole will be symmetrical, meaning that if you draw a line through the middle of the mole, both halves will be roughly the same shape and size. If a mole is asymmetrical, it could indicate that it is cancerous and should be checked by a doctor.
A non-cancerous mole will typically have a well-defined and smooth border. If you notice that the border of a mole is uneven, jagged, or blurred, it is a sign that you should have it evaluated by a doctor. Melanomas often have irregular or ragged borders.
Moles can come in various colors, including tan, brown, black, and red or blue. While most mole are a single color, a mole that is changing color or has multiple colors could be a warning sign of cancer. If a mole changes color or has more than one color, it should be checked by a doctor.
Diameter larger than a pencil eraser
Moles are typically smaller than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser). If you notice that a mole is larger than this, it is a sign that you should have it evaluated by a doctor. Melanomas tend to be larger than normal moles.
It is normal for moles to change over time, but if you notice that a mole changes in size, shape, or color, it is a sign that you should have. It evaluated by a doctor. Melanomas tend to evolve rapidly.
Itchiness or bleeding
Moles typically do not itch or bleed. If you notice that a mole is itchy or bleeding, it is a sign that you should have it evaluated by a doctor. This can be an early sign of skin cancer.
A new mole appearing after age 25
It is not uncommon to have moles appear during childhood and adolescence, but after the age of 25, you should monitor new moles closely. Especially if the mole is asymmetrical, has irregular borders or uneven color, or is larger than 6mm, a doctor should check it out.
Family history of Melanoma
A family history of melanoma, as well as fair skin and many moles, puts one at a higher risk of developing melanoma. If someone in your family has had melanoma or if you have a large number of moles, it is important to be especially vigilant about monitoring your moles for any changes or abnormalities.
It is important to note that not all moles exhibiting these warning signs will be cancerous. However, if you notice any of these signs or any other changes in a mole, it is important to have it checked by a doctor. If a mole is found to be cancerous, it must be removed to prevent it from spreading.
Call Ali Hendi, MD, to book your appointment for moles treatment.
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