Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Sanford, NC, Lillington, NC & Pittsboro, NC
Moles are common skin growths, and most people have at least 10-40 of them. Although most moles are entirely harmless, they can become abnormal, which is why routine skin checks from Sanford Dermatology are so important. If you’re due for an annual skin check, or if you have an abnormal mole, book an exam at the clinic locations in Sanford, Pittsboro, or Lillington, North Carolina. You can conveniently schedule an appointment over the phone.
Moles Q & A
What causes moles?
Moles are small, darkened lumps that form when melanocytes (pigmented cells) grow in clusters. How many moles you develop and when they form depends on several factors, including:
- Family history of moles
- Personal history of sunburn or sun damage
- Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty and pregnancy
Moles often change in shape, color, and appearance over time, especially as you get older. They may even fade away almost entirely. But because moles can occasionally be problematic and develop cancerous cells, it’s important to have them evaluated thoroughly.
When should I see a dermatologist for moles?
The compassionate dermatology team at Sanford Dermatology encourage you to have annual skin check exams for preventive purposes. This allows your dedicated dermatologist to evaluate your moles and track any changes you may experience.
You need to come into Sanford Dermatology as soon as possible if you have one or more moles that are:
- Asymmetrical in shape
- Border has become irregular or scalloped
- Color is changing or turning uneven
- Diameter is getting larger than 1/4-inch in diameter
- Evolving in size, color, shape, or height
Use the acronym “ABCDE,” which is the first letter of each issue described above, to help you remember when it’s time to have a mole checked out.
Do I need to have my moles removed?
Possibly. If you have a mole that’s changing in shape or appearance, especially if it becomes black, itchy, or starts bleeding, your dermatologist at Sanford Dermatology could recommend a biopsy.
This in-office procedure simply involves numbing your skin and surgically shaving off the mole to send off to the lab. Your dermatologist can use a specialized electric needle to treat the area to stop bleeding and destroy any potential problematic cells left behind.
If the lab finds cancerous cells in your removed tissue, your dermatologist at Sanford Dermatology schedules you for a follow-up visit to talk about further care. For instance, your dermatologist may need to run additional tests to see if the cancer has spread to other areas of your body, so they can determine if you may need radiation or chemotherapy treatments.
Book your mole evaluation at Sanford Dermatology directly through the website. You can also call any location directly to speak with a team member.