Moles services offered in Rockville, MD

About Moles

You can probably count at least a few moles you’ve had on your skin for as long as you can remember. If you see changes in a mole or don’t like how one looks, the dermatologists can evaluate the mole for signs of cancer. They can also remove moles for cosmetic reasons with a simple in-office procedure. Call Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, Maryland, or schedule an appointment online for mole evaluations and removal today.

Moles Q&A

What do moles look like?

Moles are black, pink, light brown, or dark brown growths on your skin that can appear anywhere on your body. Many are present from birth (congenital nevi) — Most people have 10-45 of them. 

Your moles might be:

  • Flat
  • Raised
  • Smooth
  • Rough
  • Round or oval-shaped

Moles appear when melanocytes (pigment-producing skin cells) grow in clusters instead of being spread out. Moles not present from birth tend to form in sun-exposed areas like your scalp, legs, and outer sides of your arms. 

When should I be concerned about a mole?

Some moles can develop into a type of skin cancer called melanoma, which is a type of cancer that originates in melanocytes. This is rare, but you should know the signs and monitor your moles for unusual changes. 

By keeping track of what your moles look like and reporting changes to your dermatologist, you’re more likely to detect skin cancer when it’s early and treatable. Look out for changes in a mole:

  • Symmetry
  • Borders
  • Color
  • Diameter
  • Shape

Moles can sometimes become itchy or painful and might bleed easily. These are also features you should report to your dermatologist. If a mole seems suspicious based on your dermatologist’s assessment, they may use a biopsy to remove a tissue sample and examine it for cancer. 

How are noncancerous moles treated? 

Even if a mole doesn’t show signs of cancer, you may want to remove it because of its appearance or sensitivity to irritation. Some moles are in inconvenient locations where they snag on jewelry or zippers. 

Your dermatologist at Shady Grove Dermatology examines the mole before removing it. They typically use surgical excision to remove unwanted moles. Excision is a quick procedure that removes an unwanted mole using a scalpel. Sometimes, dermatologists also remove a healthy margin of skin around a mole. 

Your dermatologist discusses the details of mole removal with you before your procedure, including options for numbing and the possibility of scarring. 

For more information about moles and mole removal procedures, call Shady Grove Dermatology or schedule a mole evaluation online today. The team looks forward to working with you.