About one in 100 people in the United States are born with at least one mole, and you can develop more moles as you age. Because there are certain types of moles that can increase your risk for skin cancer, Mark Amster, MD, and the team at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton recommend routine skin checks. At offices in Brighton, Needham, and Mashpee, Massachusetts, you receive diagnostic testing for suspicious moles and can remove those that irritate you or pose a threat to your health. To schedule a mole check, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Moles are brown or black growths that can develop anywhere on your skin, individually or in a cluster. These growths develop when new skin cells don’t spread throughout your body as they should. Rather, they clump together to form a mole.
There are two moles classifications:
When they first develop, moles might be a light color but darken over time due to sun exposure or hormone changes common with puberty and pregnancy.
Not all moles turn cancerous. However, the more moles you have, the greater your risk for developing skin cancer. Your risk for skin cancer also increases if moles become very large.
For these reasons, it’s important that you schedule routine skin evaluations at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton. Your provider can assess your moles to determine if any changes are an indication of skin cancer.
You can also seek treatment for moles that bother you because of their appearance or become irritated when catching on your clothes or jewelry.
Non-suspicious moles don’t require treatment unless you want to remove them for cosmetic reasons. If your provider at Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton suspects a mole might be cancerous, they can perform a biopsy. A skin biopsy involves shaving off a piece of a mole or surgically removing the entire mole for further testing in a medical lab.
If your results show that your mole is cancerous, your provider customizes a skin cancer treatment plan to prevent the spread of cancer. This might include cryotherapy, Mohs micrographic surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy to destroy all cancerous skin cells.
Whether or not you need treatment for abnormal moles, Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton continues working with you to monitor all of your moles. Your provider can recommend strategies to reduce your risk of moles becoming cancerous, such as using high-quality sunscreen and reducing the amount of time you spend in the sun.
Your provider can also teach you how to monitor your moles at home during routine skin checks, so you can identify mole changes as early as possible.
If you have concerns about changes in one or more of your moles, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book an appointment online today.