It’s extremely common to have a few moles or even a few dozen, but changes in the appearance of your moles may be a warning sign of something more serious. Dermatologist and skin cancer specialist Dawn S. Allison is Bend, Oregon’s expert in skin cancer diagnoses. If you have a mole that’s getting bigger or changing in any way, call Allison Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center or book an appointment online today.
A common mole is a skin growth made of pigment-producing cells. Most moles appear at an early age and proceed to grow as the child grows. These moles may also change in color, getting slightly lighter or darker with age.
Most adults have between 10 and 40 moles on various parts of their bodies. Moles are typically about the size of a pencil eraser and come in round or oval shapes. They’re smooth-surfaced and frequently dome-shaped.
Moles can vary in color depending on the pigment of your skin, but most are evenly colored throughout the entire growth. They’re often brown, tan, or pink.
Changes to existing moles, or the sudden appearance of new moles in adulthood, can be a sign of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Signs that your mole may be turning into melanoma include:
The best way to tell if the skin growth is a mole or melanoma is to see Dr. Allison for a full body exam. There are several differences in the appearance of a mole and melanoma, including:
First, Dr. Allison performs a physical exam to check for any new growths or changes to existing moles on your body. If she finds anything she suspects may be cancer, Dr. Allison may suggest a biopsy.
If your moles are harmless and you still want one or more of them removed for aesthetic reasons, Dr. Allison discusses your treatment options.
If you have a mole that’s changing in size, color, or texture, call Allison Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center or book an appointment online right away.