Moles are rarely a cause for concern, but when they are, they require prompt, effective treatment. At Ross Dermatology, medical dermatologists Kim Ross, MD, Ronald Davis, MD, and the team perform comprehensive skin cancer screenings to monitor abnormal moles and remove them if necessary. To make an appointment, call the nearest office in San Antonio, Seguin, or La Vernia, Texas, or book online today.
Moles are skin growths that usually appear brown or black but can look blue, pink, or skin-colored. They form from melanocytes, the cells that give the skin its pigment. Most moles are harmless, but some can turn into skin cancer. Regular skin cancer screenings and self-checks can help you identify the early signs of abnormal moles.
There are many different types of moles, including:
Congenital moles form at birth and only appear in 1% to 2% of infants. Though most are small, some can grow large and develop a bumpy texture. Congenital moles are cosmetic concerns for many, but they also increase a child’s risk of skin cancer.
Dysplastic nevi are large, flat moles that can range from light pink to dark brown. Also called an atypical mole, a dysplastic nevi raises your risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
Acquired nevi usually appear between ages 30 and 60, but they can develop earlier. These flat, irregularly shaped moles may eventually become prominent and raised. Regular skin cancer screenings allow the Ross Dermatology team to detect abnormal changes to acquired nevi.
Spitz nevi are large, red, smooth moles that typically develop during childhood. They often appear on the face or legs. While rare, spitz nevi are usually benign (noncancerous).
Moles occur when melanocytes group together and form pigmented clusters. Most don’t turn into cancer, but factors that can increase your risk of complications include:
You’re also more likely to develop melanoma if you previously had the disease or have a history of abnormal moles.
If you have an abnormal mole, the Ross Dermatology team may perform a biopsy to test for skin cancer cells. The lab then examines your abnormal tissue under a microscope to determine whether you need additional treatment. If you don’t, the team may monitor the mole to identify new changes, such as growing in size or changing in color.
While most moles don’t require treatment, you may want to remove yours for cosmetic reasons. The team may recommend surgical excision to remove the mole. Alternatively, they may suggest laser mole removal, which typically results in less downtime than surgery.
To learn more about treatments for moles, make an appointment at Ross Dermatology by calling the nearest office or booking online today.