Do you have moles that rub against your clothes and make you feel uncomfortable? Do you feel self-conscious about your appearance because of a mole in a conspicuous area? If so, you may be considered a good candidate for mole removal at Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, NC. However, not all moles need to be worried about. Therefore, we’re taking a closer look at the five signs of abnormal moles, how moles can be treated, and more.
What Are the Signs That a Mole Should Be Removed?
A good mnemonic device to remember if you are wondering whether you should be concerned about a mole is ABCDE. If you can remember the first five letters of the alphabet, you are more likely to remember what they stand for when it comes to abnormal moles:
One of the five indicators of abnormal moles is asymmetrical moles. Symmetrical moles are normal, and you don’t have to worry about them being malignant. If they are not perfectly round, they may be malignant. Regarding borders, if the borders are abnormal, there is a chance that the mole is malignant. Regarding colors, you should be concerned if your moles are dark or multi-colored. Other signs you have an abnormal mole include a diameter exceeding 6 mm, evolution, or bleeding.
Tips If You Have Moles
It is not uncommon for people with pale complexions to have anywhere from 10 to 40 moles on their bodies. It is highly advisable for you to take photographs of all your moles and take follow-up pictures periodically. This way, you will be more likely to see changes in your moles and be alerted to the possibility that they are abnormal. You also may want to commit to seeing a dermatologist annually for any signs that some of your moles are malignant.
What Mole Removal Methods May Be Right for Me?
You need to come in for an initial consultation to determine which method for removing unwanted moles is right for you. There is a good chance IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy is right for you if you have a relatively flat mole that needs to be treated. If your mole is raised significantly, you should not expect ideal results after just one IPL therapy session.
There is also a good chance that you will be considered a good candidate for a phenol peel if you have a normal mole. Phenol peels, also known as deep chemical peels, feature phenol, an extremely acidic substance. During your initial consultation, we will evaluate your moles to verify they are not abnormal. If they’re not, we will discuss your overall health, skin health, concerns, and personal preferences to determine the ideal removal method for you.
Are Abnormal Moles Always Cancerous?
No abnormal moles are not always cancerous. However, you never have to worry about normal moles being cancerous. Only an atypical mole can develop into a black tumor (melanoma). You should also be aware that only 30% of melanomas can be attributed to moles. Most of the time, regular melanocytes in your skin grow melanomas.
Since it is so common that regular skin cells develop melanoma, it is highly advisable that you visit a dermatologist at least annually. You may be able to spot new moles on your face, but you may miss moles growing on your scalp.
What Are the Risk Factors of Melanoma?
One of the most significant risk factors for developing melanoma is having a history of unprotected UV exposure. If you have used tanning beds in the past or sunbathed, your risk of developing melanoma is high. Therefore, you may want to take steps to mitigate your risk of developing melanoma. Having pale skin is another significant risk factor for developing melanoma, especially if you also have:
- Blue eyes
- Blond hair
- Red hair
What Can I Do To Mitigate My Risk of Developing Melanoma?
One of the most effective steps you can take to mitigate your risk of developing melanoma is to minimize your exposure to UV rays. Avoiding tanning beds or lamps is a good start, but it’s not adequate. You should also do your best to avoid direct exposure to the sun when its UV rays are the most potent.
This usually occurs between the hours of 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon. However, you may want to also get alerts on your phone when the sun’s UV rays are particularly strong. When you need to be exposed to direct sunlight, make sure you are using adequate sun protection. Also, you may want to wear a brimmed hat or baseball cap, sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays, and clothes that block UV radiation.
Get Checked Today
The bottom line is that moles should be removed if they are asymmetrical, have oddly-shaped borders, are atypical colors, have a diameter greater than 6 mm, or evolving. You should also consider mole removal if your moles make you feel self-conscious or cause you pain even if they aren’t abnormal. Contact us today at Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, NC to find out whether removing your moles is right for you.