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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Skin Disorders Moles

Moles

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Moles, known medically as nevi, are clusters of pigmented cells that often appear as small, dark brown spots

Moles can come in a range of colors and can develop virtually any whereon your body.

Most moles are harmless, but in rare cases, moles may become cancerous.

 

Risk Factors

  • Large Moles present at birth
  • Moles that run in families
  • Numerous Moles

When to seek medical advice

  • If you're over 20 years old and a new mole appears, see your doctor
  • If the moles are painful
  • Itching or burning
  • Oozing or bleeding
  • Scaly or crusty 
  • Suddenly different in size, shape, color or elevation


Diagnosis

You may choose to make a skin examination a regular part of your preventive medical care.

If your doctor suspects that a mole may be cancerous, he or she may take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and submit the biopsy for microscopic examination.

 

Treatment

If a mole is found to be cancerous, the entire mole and a margin of normal tissue around it need to be removed.

Usually a mole that has been removed does not reappear. For cosmetic reasons, a mole can be removed in several ways.


Prevention

 

  • The skin should be examined carefully on a regular basis
  • If there is a family history of melanoma, monthly check up of moles is required
  • Otherwise the moles should be checked every three months
  • It's best to avoid overexposure to the sun, but if you must be out of doors, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are most intense
  • Twenty to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15

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