Seasoned dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson of Fort Lauderdale Dermatology offers routine mole checks for patients throughout the Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL area. Most individuals currently have a mole of some kind on their body somewhere. A mole is a growth on the skin that results from a cluster of pigmented cells. During mole checks, we examine, measure, and document the size, shape, and growth of moles on the body to determine whether they are safe and not changing or cancerous. They can be brown, black, or a variation of the colors and can appear alone or in groups. Moles can also be flat or seem like a round bump. While most are harmless, some can develop into cancer. If you have moles on your body and are unsure about the health of one, or if one becomes bothersome, it is necessary to see a professional — especially if it begins to change in size or shape, or begins to itch or bleed.
Moles result when cells within the skin grow in a bundle instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they put off the pigment that gives the skin its standard color. Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teenage years, and while pregnant.
Dr. Wilkerson recommends that patients watch for any changes and get mole checks often. By using the ABCDE test to determine whether a mole could be cancerous, you can easily recognize what to look for. Moles could be cancerous if the following characteristics are present:
- Asymmetrical: They are not even or equal in dimensions when cut in half
- Borders: They have irregular or scalloped borders
- Color: They begin to change color or have an abnormal color
- Diameter: They are larger than 6mm in diameter
- Evolves: They begin to evolve (grow or change) in size, height, color, or shape
Most moles don't need treatment unless they become cancerous, questionable, or if they cause discomfort, irritation or cosmetic issues. In these situations, Dr. Wilkerson may need to remove the mole(s). For surgical excision, the area around the mole will be locally numbed and a scalpel or similar device is used to eliminate the mole and some surrounding skin. The wound will then be closed with stitches. At times, if the mole is surface level, a surgical shave may be used where the area is numbed and a small blade is used to cut around and beneath the mole. Stitches are not required for this procedure.
Schedule Your Mole Check!
Whether you have moles that are bothersome, unattractive, or one that is odd in appearance (that could potentially be a sign of melanoma), it's time to contact Fort Lauderdale Dermatology to explore your treatment options. Our Fort Lauderdale, FL office specializes in treating a wide variety of moles from those that are benign to cancerous ones. If skilled dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson finds that you have a mole(s) that is cancerous, he will select the ideal approach for your care. We are dedicated to providing you with the degree of attention that you deserve.