When Should You Get Your Mole Checked Out?
March 27, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Skin Cancer   Moles  

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost everyone has at least a few moles—sometimes up to 40 or more. Millions of molesAmericans have lived with moles for many years without an issue. But some patients may need to have them removed for health reasons. Find out when you should have a mole checked out by a dermatologist at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX.

What Moles Look Like
Moles, also called nevi, are often dark brown, black, or deep red in color, depending on the complexion of the person. They are more visible and more common in people with lighter skin. They are small, raised bumps that often appear on the face, neck, and limbs of the body. Some people develop them in childhood while other people see them appear as adults. If you don't check your skin every day, you may not even notice that you have them.

When You Should Have a Mole Looked At
Whenever a mole that has looked the same for years suddenly starts to change, that is something to be concerned about. Adults who find brand new moles should keep an eye on them. See your San Antonio dermatologist for a skin exam in these cases:

- The mole changes in color, size, border, symmetry, or texture.
- The mole is starting to itch, bleed, or emit other fluids.
- There has been a previous case of skin cancer or a cancerous mole.
- You are in an at-risk group (very high number of moles, pale skin, and/or family history).

Having a Mole Treated
If your dermatologist determines that a mole is abnormal, a biopsy will be done to evaluate the cells further. Mole removal, also called excision, can be done in the office when an issue is caught early, which is why dermatologists strongly encourage regular skin exams (both at home and at the doctor's office) for at-risk patients.

Have Your Moles Examined Soon
If you have a lot of moles or have experienced mole problems in the past, it's a good idea to schedule regular skin checkups with a dermatologist. An urgent appointment should be scheduled if you notice any concerning changes to a mole. Contact Dr. Rebecca Kelso or Dr. Emily Fridlington at Alamo Heights Dermatology in San Antonio, TX by calling 210-255-8447 today.