Almost every adult has a few moles on their body, typically the harmless common mole. There are other types of moles, some of which can increase a person’s risk of getting melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
Atypical moles often have an odd shape rather than being round. They are larger than an eraser on the end of a pencil and may show more than one color such as mixes of brown, tan, red, and pink. They can appear anywhere on the body, but rarely appear on the face. Melanoma may grow in an atypical mole. You have a higher risk of getting melanoma if you have four or more atypical moles, have already had melanoma, or have a first-degree relative who had melanoma.
If a person is born with a mole, it is known as a congenital mole. About 1 in 100 people are born with a mole, ranging in size from small to giant. Having a congenital mole increases the risk of developing melanoma.
A nevus, or mole, called a Spitz nevus can resemble melanoma very closely. These moles are pink, raised, and dome-shaped and may have different colors in it such as black, red, and brown. They may bleed or have an opening that oozes. They usually appear during the first 20 years of life, but they can appear on adults as well.
An acquired mole is one that appears on the skin after a person is born. People with light skin may have about 10 to 40 acquired moles, also called common moles. If a person has 50 or more, they have a higher risk of getting melanoma.
Whether a spot on your skin can wait to be removed later or requires immediate medical care, seeing a dermatologist is always the best option. When you visit with a dermatologist, you receive the care you need to find whether or not you have skin cancer in the form of a changing mole or new growth. A dermatologist can help control infection risk and minimize scarring with the treatment of a mole.
For the past three decades, Premier Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has been Delaware’s practice of choice in skin and aesthetic services. Our goal is to address all of your skincare needs under one roof by integrating medical, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic expertise with the highest standards of care and compassion. We are able to provide a comprehensive approach utilizing our different but complementary training backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, to achieve premier results. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians work collaboratively to integrate treatment plans that help you look and feel your best. Contact us today!