Mole RemovalMoles (Nevi) are not inherently harmful, but they can be a cosmetic concern. Additionally, a normal and benign mole can become cancerous. Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana is known as the home of advanced medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology in Crown Point, IN. Our team of skincare experts takes pride in delivering quality treatment for a broad spectrum of dermatological concerns. We offer a variety of surgical dermatology services, including mole removal.
Is it just a mole, or is it skin cancer?
Skin cancers can manifest in different ways with vastly different appearances. There is no replacement for being examined by a physician, because sometimes it takes the trained eye of a professional to spot the subtle signs. However, often, you can tell the difference between a benign mole and a potential skin cancer if you know what you are looking for.
Skin self-examinations should be performed monthly using a mirror so that you can see every part of your body. What are you looking for? There are five red flag signs which are easy to remember if you think of it as the ABCDEs of potential melanoma signs.
If you notice a spot or “mole” with any of these characteristics, then schedule an appointment to have it checked promptly:
- Asymmetry – A mole is normally symmetrical, meaning one-half is a mirror image of the other half. If the spot in question is asymmetrical (irregular in shape), then it should be checked by your dermatologist.
- Border – Are the edges of the spot unclear, jagged, or otherwise uneven? A typical mole has smooth borders, but an atypical mole may have uneven or unclear borders.
- Color – Normally, a mole is uniformly colored. A potential sign of melanoma is if a mole has varying shades or an unusual color.
- Diameter – Benign moles are generally smaller than a pencil eraser (6mm). Melanomas are usually larger than this, but they may be detected earlier when they are smaller. If the spot is large or growing, it should be checked immediately.
- Evolving – Any changes in appearance, such as size, shape, or color, may be a sign of a potential melanoma.
If you find a suspicious mole, or if it has been more than a year since your last skin cancer screening, please call us and schedule an appointment. Dermatology Center of Northwest Indiana is located in Crown Point and can be reached at (219) 785-8188.