Why Old & New Moles Should Be Routinely Examined

If you are an individual who notices new growths of moles frequently due to natural disposition, genetics or even sun exposure, it is important to keep an eye on such developments on your skin. Even old moles that were once examined by a dermatologist, should be re-examined annually for changes in shape, size, texture and elevation.

While moles themselves result from the growth of pigment cells called melanocytes which grow in clusters. Common moles are typically 5 mm wide in a round or oval shape, and have a smooth surface. Common moles can evolve into cancerous moles called melanoma. Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer. Individuals with over 50 moles are at increased risk for developing this type of cancer.

Things to Watch Out For

If your mole changes in color, size, texture, height or the skin’s surface becomes dry or scaly, you should let your doctor know. If the mole becomes hardened or lumpy, starts to itch or bleeds or oozes, those are also warning signs of an evolving mole.

Dysplastic Nevus is a Mole that Looks Different from a Common One

If your mole is larger than 5 mm, and is a mixture of various colors including pink and dark brown you should have your dermatologist examine your skin. This type of mole is called dysplastic nevus.

In the event, your evaluation or examination lead your doctor to assess that the mole should be removed, a biopsy will be performed.

What Changes To Watch Out For In Your Skin

Sun exposure can create and expand the development of cancerous cells. Since the sun’s UV light causes damage to the skin and eyes, there are warning signs to be on the lookout for. Click here to learn more about skin cancer, the removal methods, the types of cancer cells and more.

Sun exposure can cause benign tumors. If you notice freckles, yellow discoloration, pigmentation that is botchy or patchy, or dilated blood vessels under the skin, you may want to be seen by a board-certified dermatologist. Skin lesions can also develop in various forms prior to turning into full blown skin cancer. Such precancerous skin lesions include actinic keratosis which is typically found on the face, ears, scalp, arms and legs.