What Are Moles?
Board-certified dermatologist Tracy Evans and her team provide regular mole checks for individuals in the Corte Madera, CA area. Most people have a mole of some kind on their body somewhere. A mole is a lesion on top of the skin that is caused by a bundle of colored skin cells. During mole evaluations, we analyze, measure, and record the dimensions, shape, and development of moles on your body to determine whether they're safe and not cancerous. They may be black, brown, or a combination of the two and can grow independently or in groups. Moles may also be flush with the skin or seem like a round bulge. While many are benign, some may turn into cancer. If you have moles and feel uncertain about their severity, or if one has become bothersome, schedule an appointment at Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology. It's important to inform a professional — particularly when one starts to change in shape or size or starts to bleed or itch.
"I recently moved to the area and was searching for a new dermatologist for my annual skin checks. Luckily I came across Precision dermatology. First of all, the check-in process was so easy and efficient. Instead of having me fill out tons of paperwork, they had me fill everything out on an ipad and it was as simple as clicking boxes. In no time I was seen by Krystal the PA. Let me tell you that I have never had a more thorough skin check. She checked me from head to toe (even between my toes). She also took pictures and measurements of the moles she wanted to keep an eye on. At the end of the visit she made recommendations on skin care products and laser treatments based on my specific skin type and concerns. She was very informative but never pushy. I highly recommend Krystal and the staff at Precision Dermatology!"- N.P. / Yelp / Dec 04, 2018
What Causes Moles?
Moles result when cells within the skin develop in a bundle rather than being dispersed evenly beneath your skin. These types of cells are referred to as melanocytes, and they are responsible for the pigment that gives the skin its color. Moles can become darker in color for different reasons, including exposure to sunlight, hormonal changes through the teenage years, and pregnancy.
What Are Symptoms of an Irregular Mole?
Dr. Evans recommends that individuals monitor their moles for any changes and receive regular examinations. By remembering this ABCDE test, you can easily understand what to look for to ascertain if a mole might be cancerous:
- Asymmetrical: They aren't even or equivalent in dimensions if cut in half
- Borders: They have scalloped or jagged edges
- Color: They start to change or have an abnormal color
- Diameter: They're bigger than six millimeters in size
- Evolves: They start to evolve (change or grow) in size, height, color, or shape
You should also have moles regularly checked if they itch or bleed, have multiple colors, or are located where they cannot be easily monitored, such as on the scalp.
Mole Removal Treatment Options
Usually, moles do not need treatment unless they become cancerous, questionable, or when they cause irritation, discomfort, or aesthetic problems. In these situations, Dr. Evans might want to excise the mole(s). For surgical excision, the region near the mole is numbed with a local anesthetic, and a scalpel or comparable surgical tool will be used to remove the mole and a bit of the surrounding skin cells. The wound is then closed with sutures. For a mole that is flush with the skin, a surgical "shaving" method may be used. The region is locally numbed, and a small blade is used to cut around and under the mole. Stitches aren't required with this procedure. Other treatment options include laser or pulsed light therapy and microdermabrasion.
Mole removal typically takes a short amount of time but yields positive results. Cosmetic mole removal is performed in our Corte Madera, CA office utilizing local anesthesia and should last about an hour. If you have an excision with sutures, you should expect slight discomfort for a couple of days following the procedure. Most patients are fully healed within about two weeks following a mole procedure, but this will vary, depending on what technique is used. Healing can be expedited by carefully following wound-care instructions after the procedure.
Schedule Your Mole Check!
If you find a mole that is unattractive or bothersome or one that may potentially be an indication of melanoma, it's time to call Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology to explore your treatment choices. Our Corte Madera, CA office specializes in handling a large array of moles and lesions from those that are harmless to those that are a concern. Allowing a professional to examine your mole(s) can help ease any worry you have about potential health problems. We're dedicated to supplying you with the degree of attention that you need and deserve.