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When Should You See a Doctor for an Abnormal Mole?

dermatologist looks at the mark on the patients back

Almost everyone has at least one mole on their skin, and many people have dozens or more. The vast majority of moles are harmless, pigmented growths that come in many shapes and sizes. There are a small percentage that can be affected by skin cancer cells, usually the most aggressive type of skin cancer – melanoma. These moles can look different and can warn you that should see a dermatologist for a mole checkup.

Common moles are usually symmetrical in shape and evenly colored. They can be flat or raised, occurring almost anywhere on the body. There are also atypical moles, which do look different but are not necessarily harmful. These may have irregular borders and varying colors, but they should not change in appearance. What you should be looking for is moles that evolve and change, which can be a sign of skin cancer.

Know Your Mole ABCs

Performing self-checkups for mole changes should be part of your wellness routine, especially as you get older. While there are many different types of skin cancer that do not involve moles, this gives you a chance to inspect your skin and look for any abnormalities, including changes to existing moles. The ABCs of mole checkups include the following differences that can indicate a mole is potentially affected by skin cancer.

  • A – Asymmetry. If a mole is changing in shape, making it asymmetrical, this can be a sign of skin cancer.
  • B –Border. If the border begins to look irregular and jagged, the mole should be checked by a dermatologist.
  • C – Color. Brown moles that suddenly have black, red or other colors are a concern.
  • D – Diameter. If a mole is growing larger, and becomes bigger than the eraser on a pencil, you should seek a mole medical checkup.
  • E – Evolving. The main aspect to look for when examining your moles is any evolution – changing moles are a warning sign and should be examined by an experienced dermatologist.

Performing a monthly mole examination can alert you to possible skin cancer signs. You should also be aware of any growths or lesions that are new on your skin that could be signs of cancer.

If you have an abnormal mole that seems to be changing in size, color or shape, you should schedule a mole checkup. Dr. Matthew Reschly at MJR Dermatology has over 25 years of experience as a skin cancer specialist – call our clinic in Lawrenceville, GA, to schedule a mole checkup.

Posted on behalf of Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC

2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

Phone: (678) 535-0067

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Matthew J. Reschly, M.D., PC


2000 Riverside Pkwy, Suite 100
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Located on the lower Courtyard Level

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