Moles: Using Your ABCs to Assess Them

April 27, 2022

Like snowflakes, moles are unique in their shape, color, and size! They can be brown, some can be red, and others may be more pigmented like your skin tone. Most moles are benign, meaning they are purely a cosmetic concern. However, some moles can develop into something more serious, such as skin cancer.

How Do I Know a Mole is Benign?

When assessing if a mole is benign or a potential problem, most dermatologists will tell you to use your ABCDEs.

  • A – Asymmetry
    • Are both halves of the mole asymmetrical?
  • B – Border
    • Are the edges of the mole irregular?
  • C – Color
    • Is the mole multiple different colors?
  • D – Diameter
    • Is the mole more than a quarter of an inch in size?
  • E – Evolving
    • Has the mole changed over time?

If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

What Can Be Done?

Although moles can seem small and insignificant, it’s important to seek care from a dermatologist when pursuing mole removal. Never attempt to remove a mole at home, which is ineffective and can lead to injury. If a mole is determined to be cancerous, our doctors use the Moh’s surgery technique, which clears all cancerous cells while preserving the surrounding skin as much as possible.

For benign or non-cancerous moles, we can employ cautery, which safely burns the mole from the skin, or cryosurgery, which freezes the mole and causes it to fall off.

Where Can I Get an Assessment?

If you are in the Tampa Bay area and would like an assessment, look no further.   At Bay Dermatology, we pride ourselves on being voted #1 by Tampa Bay in dermatology and cosmetic surgery! If you have a concern or are interested in a procedure (whether dermatologic or cosmetic) contact us and we will give you the one-on-one time you need.

 

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