The Importance of Regular Mole Checks for Skin Health

At North Branch Dermatology in Niles, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL, we specialize in clinical and aesthetic treatments that keep your skin healthy so you can look your best and feel your most confident. Our dermatologists Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach and Dr. Joanna Jaros recommend regular mole checks to screen for skin cancer.

What Is a Mole Check?

A mole check is an appointment where your dermatologist evaluates your moles for signs of skin cancer. Moles are growths on the skin made of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes that result in a dark spot. Moles can be flat or raised and can get darker or disappear over time. Most people have several moles and many moles are harmless, but you should still be examined once a year to monitor any changes in your moles.

What Is My Dermatologist Looking For?

The American Academy of Dermatology has a guide for what to look out for to identify a potentially harmful mole. Keep an eye on your moles and remember your ABCDEs:

  • Asymmetrical. If you notice one half of a mole does not match the other half in size, shape, or color, have your dermatologist examine it.
  • Border. The border of a mole can tell you if it's a normal growth. If the edges of a mole look irregular, jagged, or poorly defined, show your dermatologist.
  • Color. Look for variations in the color of a mole and show your doctor if the mole is not the same color throughout.
  • Diameter. If a mole is greater than 6 millimeters across your dermatologist should determine if it is cancerous.
  • Evolving. When you notice a mole changing in any way, size, shape, or color, make an appointment.

Why Are Regular Mole Checks Important?

You should see your dermatologist for a mole check in Chicago, IL, at least annually. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer your doctor may recommend more frequent checks. We also recommend you do a monthly self-examination for any changes to your moles. Early detection gives you the chance to receive the most effective treatment and can save your life.

Book a Mole Check Now

North Branch Dermatology in Niles, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL, is here for you when you need a mole check. To make an appointment with Dr. Fahrenbach or Dr. Jaros, contact us at (773) 763-6000.

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