Developing moles and nevi on the skin increases your risk of skin cancer. Specialists including Joy Green, PA-C, and Ali Hendi, MD, examine whether your moles are typical or atypical. It would be determined while evaluating your skin at the Chevy Chase moles/nevi, Maryland, office. Most moles do not become cancerous. However, your health care provider should identify mole changes that could result in skin cancers, such as melanoma.
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Understanding what moles are
Moles, also called nevi, usually develop due to clustering of pigmented cells. Moles are normal and childhood is when most moles develop for most people. Most moles are not cancerous. Atypical moles would enhance your chance of developing a severe kind of skin cancer called melanoma.
The difference between atypical moles and common moles
Common moles usually appear as dark brown spots on the skin surface. Such moles could be flesh colored, tan, or black, and might be oval or round.
Having common moles located anywhere on your body is deemed normal. Over time, they may begin changing in appearance. Sometimes they even fade away fully.
These moles look different from common moles. They are skin growths having an asymmetrical shape and an irregular border. Most times, atypical moles are stable over time; however, having such kinds of moles means that you are at greater risk of developing a melanoma. Atypical moles sometimes signal existing underlying skin cancer.
More extensive than normal moles should be examined immediately to determine whether they are cancerous.
What to do when you get moles/nevi
Regular home self-exams can help you to identify better moles having changed in color, shape, or size. Although common moles generally are harmless, scheduling a skin evaluation is essential so that you can confirm that they are harmless.
You will also require remaining proactive to protect the skin. Practice wearing high-quality sunscreen when you tread into the sun, despite the winter season. Avoid tanning booths and sunlamps as they may also cause moles to develop.
Plan for routine skin evaluations if your medical background suggests having a history of melanoma in the family or any other kinds of cancer. In the case of atypical moles, regular checkups with your care provider ensure that they are thoroughly supervised.
Understanding what melanoma is
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in melanocytes. This type of cancer is dangerous as it can affect surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body. It is vital to detect melanomas early to improve the likelihood of treatment being successful.
Whenever you notice that a mole itches, bleeds, or oozes, has become hard or feels lumpy, has changed either in size or color, the skin on the surface has become dry or scaly, visit your health care provider requesting a biopsy for detecting cancer during the early stages. This procedure helps your physician determine the treatment that is highly effective in treating cancer.
Call Ali Hendi, MD today to learn more about moles and to schedule a consultation to get your moles checked.