Should I Have My Moles Removed?

Florida reported nearly 8,000 melanoma cases in 2017 alone. Although that statistic may seem alarming, the good news is that regular skin exams can spot the signs of a changing mole as early as possible. 

Because early detection is linked to a 99% survival rate, our team at Dr. Bridget Bellingar DO & Associates is a big proponent of regular skin cancer screenings. We quickly excise and biopsy any suspicious spots, giving you not only peace of mind but the opportunity for swift treatment if needed.

Even if you inspect your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, how do you know if you need your moles removed? Keep reading to explore the common signs that it’s time to remove a mole.

How to spot suspicious moles

Moles are small (less than a quarter inch in diameter), evenly colored tan or brown spots on your skin. Some people are born with them. For the majority of people, moles are benign skin growths. 

But exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause a mole to change and grow out of control. Melanomas develop when the pigment cells (melanocytes) grow abnormally. An estimated 86% of melanomas are the result of sun exposure. 

If moles are normally benign, then how can you tell when a mole needs to be removed? The American Academy of Dermatology Association and the American Cancer Society both use the ABCDE rule for evaluating moles.

Asymmetry

Are your moles more symmetrical or asymmetrical? Healthy, benign moles should be symmetrical. 

Border

Are the edges of your mole smooth and even or ragged and irregular? It’s a red flag if your mole is uneven or has rough edges.

Color

A mole should be uniform in color. Melanomas may contain different shades, including patches of white, black, or even pink.

Diameter

Moles are typically smaller than the tip of an eraser, which is about a quarter inch or 6 millimeters. Anything larger is worth mentioning and getting examined.

Evolving

If you’ve had a normal mole for years, but it suddenly grows or changes color, this could be a red flag. 

To keep an eye on evolving changes, perform a skin check on yourself regularly, in addition to regular skin cancer screenings.

Should your mole be removed?

If you notice any irregularities in a mole, we suggest you come see us. During a full-body exam, we also look for any irregularities in your moles using the ABCDE rule. In addition to a vision exam, we also use a magnifying glass to examine moles closely.

If a mole (or any other suspicious lesion) exhibits any red flags, we can easily remove it in our office. Whether you need a shave excision, full-thickness excision, or a laser excision, we will guide you through your next steps.

Even though it can be overwhelming to think about melanomas, remember that getting a mole removed is quick and painless thanks to a local anesthetic. Plus, mole removal and biopsy can give you the peace of mind you need.

If you have concerns about a mole, call our Seminole, Florida, office and book an appointment. You can also try our online tool to request an appointment.

Florida reported nearly 8,000 melanoma cases in 2017 alone. Although that statistic may seem alarming, the good news is that regular skin exams can spot the signs of a changing mole as early as possible. 

Because early detection is linked to a 99% survival rate, our team at Dr. Bridget Bellingar DO & Associates is a big proponent of regular skin cancer screenings. We quickly excise and biopsy any suspicious spots, giving you not only peace of mind but the opportunity for swift treatment if needed.

Even if you inspect your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer, how do you know if you need your moles removed? Keep reading to explore the common signs that it’s time to remove a mole.

How to spot suspicious moles

Moles are small (less than a quarter inch in diameter), evenly colored tan or brown spots on your skin. Some people are born with them. For the majority of people, moles are benign skin growths. 

But exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause a mole to change and grow out of control. Melanomas develop when the pigment cells (melanocytes) grow abnormally. An estimated 86% of melanomas are the result of sun exposure. 

If moles are normally benign, then how can you tell when a mole needs to be removed? The American Academy of Dermatology Association and the American Cancer Society both use the ABCDE rule for evaluating moles.

Asymmetry

Are your moles more symmetrical or asymmetrical? Healthy, benign moles should be symmetrical. 

Border

Are the edges of your mole smooth and even or ragged and irregular? It’s a red flag if your mole is uneven or has rough edges.

Color

A mole should be uniform in color. Melanomas may contain different shades, including patches of white, black, or even pink.

Diameter

Moles are typically smaller than the tip of an eraser, which is about a quarter inch or 6 millimeters. Anything larger is worth mentioning and getting examined.

Evolving

If you’ve had a normal mole for years, but it suddenly grows or changes color, this could be a red flag. 

To keep an eye on evolving changes, perform a skin check on yourself regularly, in addition to regular skin cancer screenings.

Should your mole be removed?

If you notice any irregularities in a mole, we suggest you come see us. During a full-body exam, we also look for any irregularities in your moles using the ABCDE rule. In addition to a vision exam, we also use a magnifying glass to examine moles closely.

If a mole (or any other suspicious lesion) exhibits any red flags, we can easily remove it in our office. Whether you need a shave excision, full-thickness excision, or a laser excision, we will guide you through your next steps.

Even though it can be overwhelming to think about melanomas, remember that getting a mole removed is quick and painless thanks to a local anesthetic. Plus, mole removal and biopsy can give you the peace of mind you need.

If you have concerns about a mole, call our Seminole, Florida, office and book an appointment. You can also try our online tool to request an appointment.

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