Moles are either completely harmless or a possible sign of cancer. That’s why it’s essential to have an experienced dermatologist like Dr. David L. Graham at Silver Leaf Dermatology in Edmond and Enid, Oklahoma, there to help when moles appear. With a simple examination, Dr. Graham determines the type of mole, whether it requires removal, and if further treatment is necessary.
Moles Q & A
What can you learn from a mole’s color, size, and shape?
In most cases, the moles on your body are harmless. Usually, moles are one color: brown (the most common), pink, beige, blue, or the same color as your skin.
Moles vary in size and shape. They’re often round and semi-flat, but can also be oval, raised, or completely flat. Some moles grow hair, but this doesn’t indicate whether they’re harmful or not.
Regardless of the color, size, or shape of your mole, it’s critical to watch for changes. When a mole’s appearance changes, it can be a danger sign. See Dr. Graham as soon as possible for a check-up and a biopsy if needed.
How often should you check your moles?
Dr. Graham recommends that you check your moles regularly — preferably once per month. For difficult-to-see moles, like those on your mid-back, take a picture with your cell phone and use the zoom feature. It’s easier to identify changes when you perform this monthly check at the same, for example, the last day of each month.
During your self-exam, remember the “ABCDE” rule:
- Asymmetry. Is the mole lopsided, with half of it looking different from the other half?
- Border: Is the border of the mole irregular or poorly defined?
- Color. Does the mole have two or more colors?
- Diameter. Is the mole larger than the size of a pencil eraser?
- Evolving. Has the mole changes since last month?
New moles appearing is also a potential sign of trouble, so see Dr. Graham for evaluation promptly.
What if your mole is melanoma?
Melanoma is almost 100% curable if it’s identified early and removed. For this reason, keeping up with your regular monthly self-exams is especially important.
Dr. Graham removes moles at the offices of Silver Leaf Dermatology. The procedure is quick and easy, so you experience little to no discomfort. Thanks to his dermatologic surgery training and experience, Dr. Graham can remove melanoma even in sensitive areas of the body.
Concerned about a mole or other skin growth? Dr. Graham and the Silver Leaf Dermatology team want to help. Contact the office today to arrange a visit.