Moles and Melanoma

Normal Moles are common small brown spots or growths on the skin that appear from early childhood up until 35-40 in almost everyone. They can be either flat or elevated and are generally round and regularly shaped. Many are caused by sun exposure.

Dysplastic Nevi (atypical moles) are unusual benign moles that may resemble melanoma. People who have them are at increased risk of developing single or multiple melanomas. The higher the number of these moles someone has, the higher the risk; those who have 10 or more have 12 times the risk of developing melanoma compared to the general population. Dysplastic nevi are found significantly more often in melanoma patients than in the general population.

Melanoma is a variant of skin cancer and considered to be one of the most severe forms. If detected early, Melanoma is usually curable. If ignored Melanoma can spread to several parts of the body where it becomes dificult to treat and be fatal. Though it may not be as common as other skin cancer types, but it results in the largest amount of deaths. Melanoma originates in the cells responsible for producing pigment melanin, which colors our skin, eyes, and hair. This cell is called melanocytes and are usually brown or black. Melanocyte color can vary ranging from pink, red, blue, purple, white, or even skin colored.

With regular self-examination, and yearly full body skin exams by your Dermatologist you can greatly reduce your chances that a melanoma will grow to a threatening size before it can be detected and removed.

* Photos and Content are all courtesy of ‘The Skin Cancer Foundation’ and are used with their permission

To learn more about the benefits of Moles and Melanoma, please call our office today to schedule a consultation and find out if this procedure is right for you.

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