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What to Look for In Your Moles

What your dermatologist in Chicago wants you to knowmoles

Most people have moles, and they are usually nothing to worry about, but there are changes to look for that might signal the presence of abnormal cells or even cancer. Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL wants to share the facts about moles.

Moles are caused by melanocytes clumping together. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin, responsible for your skin color. When these cells form a clump, it produces a mole. 10 to 40 moles are common for most people, and the moles are usually uniform in shape and color and less than 6 millimeters in diameter.

You should check your moles regularly, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, have a history of skin cancer, or have fair skin. Abnormalities to look for include:

  • A diameter larger than 6 millimeters
  • A change in shape, color, size, or height
  • Irregular borders or an asymmetrical shape

You should also check with your dermatologist if you have a mole that is:

  • Causing pain
  • Bleeding or oozing
  • Itching or burning
  • Growing back after previous removal

Your dermatologist may suggest removing an abnormal mole completely and taking a tissue biopsy to determine if the mole is precancerous or cancerous. Mole removal is a common procedure and is performed several different ways including:

Shaving the mole which involves numbing the area and then cutting underneath and around the mole; treatment doesn’t require sutures and is a great choice for small moles.

Surgically removing the mole which involves numbing the area and using a punching instrument to remove the mole; a few sutures are required with this procedure.

For more detailed information about moles, please visit the Mole Check page on the North Branch Dermatology website at https://www.northbranchdermatology.com/north-branch-dermatology-mole-check.html

It’s important to know what to look for when you do a mole check. Early diagnosis and treatment of precancerous and cancerous moles can save your health and your life. To find out more about moles and other skin conditions call Dr. Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL today!

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