Posts for: January, 2019

By Shady Grove Dermatology
January 11, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: moles  

It’s important to know the warning signs of skin cancer. Do you know what to look for?

Most healthy moles are present at birth or develop throughout your youth. Of course, if a mole or lesion crops up later in life you may be wondering if you need to visit our Rockville, MD, dermatologists. After all, the sooner you catch skin cancer, the easier it will be to treat. So, here’s what to look for to determine whether or not a bump, lump, growth, or lesion requires a proper medical evaluation.

More about Moles

If you discover a new spot or growth anywhere on your body that changes in color, size, or shape, this could be a warning sign of melanoma (a potentially life-threatening type of skin cancer). In this case, your first step should be to check the suspicious growth against your other moles, for if it looks different from the rest, then it might be cancerous. The ABCDE rule is one that everyone should follow if they want to look for signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry: Both sides of a mole should look identical to one another. As such, draw an imaginary line down the middle of the growth. If the two sides don’t look the same, the mole should be checked out by one of the skin doctors here at our Rockville office.
  • Border: A healthy mole will have a very clearly defined, smooth border. If the mole has a ragged, uneven, or poorly defined border, this could be another sign of skin cancer.
  • Color: While moles can be different shades of brown or tan, it’s important to recognize that healthy moles should only be a single color. If you notice that the mole has multiple colors or is changing color, this is a warning sign.
  • Diameter: Healthy moles are typically pretty small, measuring less than 6mm across (this is about the size of a pencil eraser). Most melanomas are larger than this, even though there are some melanomas that can also be much smaller.
  • Evolving: As we mentioned before, a mole should stay relatively the same over time. If you notice that a growth is changing in size, shape, or color, then it’s worth having it checked out.

While this rule can save lives, it’s important to realize that not all cases of melanoma follow these rules. This is why it’s important for everyone to come in at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening.

Concerned? Give Us a Call!

If it’s time to schedule a screening, or if you are noticing any changes in your skin, it’s a good time to call Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD. Call us today at 240-246-7417 to schedule an appointment.




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