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Self-Checking Your Moles – As Easy As ABCDE

When you look down at your arm, how many moles can you count, if any? Almost everyone has 10-40 moles or more on their bodies by the time they reach adulthood. A mole is a growth on the skin that is typically either black or brown but can sometimes be pink or tan. They form when clusters of pigmented cells, also known as melanocytes, grow clumped together instead of spreading out through the skin to give it its natural color. They can be raised off the skin or lie flat, and though they are mostly determined by genetics, new moles can actually form and existing moles can get darker when exposed to too much sunlight or tanning beds. The dermatologists at Premier Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery want to keep you informed about the different types of moles and teach you what to look for when self-checking your moles in the event that you may need moles warts removal.

Different Types Of Moles

So how can you tell if you should be worried about the moles you just noticed on your arm? Moles are typically classified into one of the following three categories:

  • Congenital Moles – These moles are present at birth and are categorized by their size: small, medium, and large. Only large congenital moles, which are greater than 20mm in size, have a significantly increased risk of turning into skin cancer.
  • Acquired Moles – Most moles are acquired, meaning they develop after birth. They are typically smaller than a pencil eraser, have even pigmentation, and a symmetrical border. Most acquired moles will not develop into skin cancer.
  • Atypical Moles – Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, have asymmetrical, irregular borders. The pigmentation is often uneven and can be made of different colors, and they can also have focal darker areas. Multiple atypical moles can run in families, and the more atypical moles that you have, the higher your risk of skin cancer. These would most likely require moles warts removal and be sent off for testing by your healthcare provider.

It is very important to consult your doctor about any suspicious moles you find on your body, as these lesions may represent malignant melanoma, which is a life-threatening type of skin cancer.

The ABCDEs Of Melanoma

It is important to keep an eye on your moles to make sure they do not show any fast or suspicious changes over time. Premier Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery recommends checking the growth of your moles every month or two by using a mirror. It might be a good idea to take notes, create a map or sketch of your moles, or photograph them if you notice any that seem to be rapidly changing in size or color. In fact, the ABCDE rule is a good tool for self-checking moles that might become dangerous to your health. Check for:

Asymmetry – The shape of one half of the mole does not match the other half.

Border – The border or edges of the mole are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.

Color – The color is uneven shades of either black, brown, pink, or tan.

Diameter – There is a change in size over time, getting larger than a pencil eraser.

Evolving – The mole has noticeably changed over the last few weeks or months and now stands out among the rest of your moles.

Premier Dermatology And Cosmetic Surgery

If any of your moles stand out to you when checking the ABCDEs, consult with your dermatologists at Premier Dermatology And Cosmetic Surgery right away to discuss moles warts removal. Our dermatologists are trained to treat patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, and will carefully examine all moles or other growths to determine whether they are or may become cancerous. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!


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