Many people have at least a few moles, and they often appear before the age of 20. Although most moles are harmless, some may change in appearance or have the possibility of developing into cancer. Here’s a look at the different types of moles and a few signs that you should get checked out by a dermatologist.
Varieties of Moles
Moles appear in three basic types: congenital, acquired, and atypical. Congenital moles are present from birth, and unfortunately, they have a higher risk of developing into cancer. Acquired moles usually appear when you’re young and are often caused by excessive exposure to sunlight. These small moles aren’t typically associated with skin cancer. Atypical moles, as their name indicates, are larger or more irregularly shaped than other moles, and they have a moderate risk of becoming cancerous.
When to See a Doctor About a Mole
Most moles cause no problems and never require medical attention. If a new mole develops, however, or existing ones begin to grow or become different colors, you should visit a dermatologist as soon as possible. Signs to look out for include increasing size, asymmetry, multiple colors, irregular colors, or noticeable changes over time.
As long as they don’t have an unusual appearance or cause problems, most moles don’t have to be removed. However, if melanoma is suspected or a mole becomes painful, removal is a simple and effective solution. Your dermatologist will numb the area and either excise or shave off the mole.
Usually, moles don’t require a medical visit. But if you notice any of the issues mentioned above, you should contact a doctor. At The Dermatology Clinic, we offer patients in the Baton Rouge area mole evaluations and treatment, as well as a full range of dermatological and cosmetic services. Schedule an appointment today by calling us at (225) 769-7546.