How to Identify Normal Moles From Cancerous Moles
Many of the moles on your skin are harmless; however, some can develop into skin cancer over time. According to the experts at the Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center in Thomasville, North Carolina, there are some ways to help to determine whether the growth is a benign mole or skin cancer. However, it is always recommended and best to seek consultation from trained professionals. Their providers explain how to help identify cancerous moles from normal ones:
- Color: Moles that change in color should be checked immediately. A normal mole has an even color and doesn’t change. They are brown, dark brown, black, or skin-colored, while cancerous moles have dual color and sometimes become darker.
- Shape: Normal moles are usually round, flat, and have a well-defined edge. On the other hand, cancerous moles have an irregular shape and border while seeming to spread over time or thicken.
- Size: Non-cancerous moles are usually smaller than five millimeters wide, though not all large moles are cancerous. Dysplastic nevi (atypical moles meaning moles showing changes under the microscope) can grow wider than five millimeters and have an irregular shape, but are not skin cancer at this stage but may have a higher tendency to develop into skin cancer. If you do have questionable moles, however, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist to make sure you don’t have skin cancer.
- Enlargement: Is your mole growing over time? This may be an indication of skin cancer. It may start as a flat spot and become more prominent and elevated as cancer progresses. It may also come and go which is another sign of a possible skin cancer or pre-cancerous lesion called an actinic keratosis.
- Texture: Normal moles are usually flat and smooth, and some may become raised over time. A dysplastic nevus may appear rough, scaly, and irregular but is not considered cancer at this stage.
If your moles exhibit any warning signs or if you just need some reassurance, have them checked by the providers at the Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center in Thomasville, NC. They offer Mohs surgery for effective removal of cancerous moles. Call their office at (336) 475-8410; their Pinehurst/West End office at (910) 673-8410; their Albemarle office at (704) 982-8410; or their Asheboro office at (336) 625-8410 to schedule a consultation. To find out more about their services, visit them online.