Moles are raised growths of the skin that are often black or brown. Most moles are benign, but some can become abnormal and potentially even cancerous. Hence, moles should be evaluated before removal by a board-certified dermatologist to assess their benign or dangerous nature. We offer simple removal procedures for abnormal moles, and monitor our patients for any sign of skin cancers, unusual moles or unwanted lesions. For birthmarks, depending on the lesions, we have lasers such as the Picoway® to help to remove these safely and effectively for you. The characteristics of an abnormal mole include ABCDE characteristics:
- Asymmetry- One half doesn't match the appearance of the other half.
- Border irregularity- The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred,
- Color Variation- Shades of tan, brown, and black are present. Dashes of red, white, and blue add to a mottled appearance.
- Diameter-The size of the mole is greater than 1/4 inch (6 mm), about the size of a pencil eraser. Any growth of a mole should be evaluated.
- Evolution- or change in the size, shape, symptoms (such as itching or tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or color of a mole.
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