What Are Moles?
Moles are common. Almost every adult has a few moles. Adults who have light skin often have more moles. They may have 10 to 40 moles on their skin. This is normal.
You should not be overly worried about your moles. But you should know:
- A type of skin cancer, melanoma, can grow in or near a mole.
- Checking your skin can help you find melanoma early. A dermatologist can show you how to examine your skin and tell you how often you should check your skin.
- Caught early and treated, melanoma can be cured.
- The first sign of melanoma is often a change to a mole — or a new mole on your skin.
Signs & Symptoms: Moles are usually round or oval and smaller than a pencil eraser. They may be present at birth or may appear later on—usually before age 40. People who have dark skin tend to have dark moles. Moles may darken during pregnancy or after sun exposure. Moles tend to fade away in older people.
If a mole starts to grow, itch, or bleed, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
Prevention: Avoid sun exposure and use a sunscreen regularly to help prevent moles from developing. Everyone should perform a monthly skin self-exam. This is particularly important if you have many moles on your body. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice a new mole, a change in the size, shape or color of a mole, or find another suspicious skin lesion.
Treatment options: Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment. When moles are surgically excised, they normally do not return. A dermatologist will remove a mole that:
- A patient finds unattractive.
- Bothers a patient (rubs against clothing, etc.).
- Could be skin cancer.
Call us today! 610-789- SKIN(7546) to schedule a personalized consultation.