Moles

Definition:

Small, spots or bumps that range in color from skin tone to darkly pigmented. They develop during childhood and grow to a predetermined size by late adolescence or early adulthood.

What Causes Moles:

For the most part, they are genetic but there is consensus in the medical world that sun exposure can influence their growth and evolution. An increase in the number or the size and shape of moles can indicate an increased risk of Melanoma, the most-deadly form of skin cancer.

Management Strategy:

Managing moles requires vigilance on the part of the patient and the treating physician.

Patients should visually monitor moles throughout the year, while your physicians will use diagnostic tools such as Dermascopy or surgery.

Education and sun avoidance are hallmarks of management. While most moles need only to be followed, evolving moles should be evaluated to rule out skin cancer. Indications for removal include the A-B-C-D-E rule:

Asymmetry

Border (irregular shapes)

Color (multiple colors)

Diameter (greater than 6mm or pencil-eraser size)

Evolving (change in appearance)