Posts for tag: moles
Do you examine your moles regularly? Seemingly minor changes in a mole can be a sign of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. Fortunately, a mole check from your Chicago, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, can help you protect your health.
How does a mole change if I have skin cancer?
You may notice one or more of these signs if your mole is cancerous:
- Your mole changes color: Color changes, whether they affect the entire mole or just part of it, are a cause for concern. Let your Chicago dermatologist know if your mole is getting darker or if it has become red, pink, blue, white, black or another color.
- Your mole doesn't look the same: If you think that your mole used to be smaller or more symmetrical, you're probably right. Moles that change over time must be examined. If you think that your mole is larger than before, see that one half doesn't match the other, or notice that the borders of the mole are now blurred, rough, or irregular, schedule a mole check.
- You have a large mole: Moles that are larger than the size of the eraser at the end of your pencil are more likely to become cancerous.
- Your mole is painful or uncomfortable. Moles that bleed, itch, crust over, or ooze fluids should be examined promptly.
How do dermatologists treat suspicious moles?
Your skin doctor will remove your mole and send it a laboratory for testing. Before the mole is removed, a local anesthetic will be applied to your skin to ensure that you don't feel any pain during the minor procedure.
If the mole is cancerous, some of the cancerous cells may have penetrated deeper into your skin and will need to be removed. In some cases, Mohs surgery, an innovative surgical procedure that removes skin layer-by-layer and causes minimal scarring, may be recommended. Depending on the stage of the cancer, other treatments may include immunotherapy, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment.
Do you need a mole check? Call your Chicago, IL, dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach at (773) 763-6000 to schedule an appointment, today!
What your dermatologist in Chicago wants you to know
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!
Find out what to be on the lookout for when it comes to change in your skin.
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. If you are someone who has had bad sunburns in the past, if you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of freckles then you may be concerned about the health of your skin. Our Chicago dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach, is here to tell you what you should be looking out for when it comes to suspicious moles and how to protect your skin.
Here’s what should tip you off that something is wrong with a mole and that you need to visit our Chicago skin doctor right away:
- A mole that bleeds or is red and irritated
- Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser
- Moles that do not have clear, defined borders
- Moles that contain multiple colors
- Moles that are painful or itchy
One of the best rules of thumb for detecting skin cancer is to look at your moles and perform a thorough evaluation. You should do this at least once a month to make sure that if there are any changes that you are able to catch them right away and get the issue checked out before it becomes serious. And, if all else fails, remember your ABCDs…
- A: Asymmetry—Healthy moles will be completely even and symmetrical on all sides
- B: Border—Healthy moles will have a clearly defined and even border
- C: Color—Healthy moles won’t change colors or contain more than one color
- D: Diameter—Healthy moles tend to be rather small while melanoma is often much larger
- E: Elevated—Healthy moles aren’t typically raised
How to Protect Your Skin
One of the best things you can do to protect the health of your skin is to apply sunscreen every day about 20 minutes before going outside. Opt for a sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. Make sure that you reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. If you aren’t sure which kind of sunscreen is right for you or you have questions about how to properly apply it then don’t hesitate to ask us. We are here to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays.
If you noticing any changes in your skin that have you concerned then it’s time you turned to North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL to get a full skin cancer evaluation. Don’t ignore the health of your skin. This simple evaluation could just end up saving your life.
There are several dermatological issues to look out for that could be signs of a problem, such as skin cancer. Developing rashes or experiencing changes in the size or shape of existing moles can all be warning signs of a potential health concern. At North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach can examine your skin for signs of a problem, make a diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment.
Skin cancer is something everyone hopes to avoid. Unfortunately, it is the most common type of cancer in the United States. One out of five people in the U.S. will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Early detection is the best way to ensure that cancer does not spread, as well as improve the odds of beating it. Cancer is easier to detect when you know what to look for. Warning signs associated with three of the most common types of skin cancer are as follows.
- Melanoma — Warning signs include new moles, changes in existing moles, a lump or a new spot on the skin that is brown, black, pink or blue in color.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma — Warning signs include brown scaly patches and white waxy lumps on areas of the skin regularly exposed to the sun, such as the face and neck.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma — Warning signs include the development of scaly patches, lumps or ulcers on the skin.
Rashes and itchy, scaly patches of inflamed skin due to psoriasis, eczema or skin allergies can be uncomfortable and unsightly. It is important to see a dermatologist about any type of rash to verify that it is not due to a more serious condition. Additionally, a dermatologist can prescribe the right type of treatment to alleviate any itching or discomfort associated with the rash. Further, a dermatologist can best advise you on how to prevent the rash from spreading to other areas of the body.
Most adults have at least one mole on their body and in most cases, moles are harmless. However, some moles can become cancerous, particularly if they have changed in color, size or shape. Regularly examining your existing moles, as well as checking for new ones, will help you catch changes early on so that you can seek treatment before developing a serious condition. If you do notice the development of new moles or changes in existing ones, seek treatment from your Chicago dermatologist.
Regularly examining your skin for dermatological issues, such as rashes and new moles, is a good way to ensure you identify potential problems right away. If you do discover anything of concern, visit your dermatologist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and treatment. If you do have any concerns about rashes, moles or skin cancer, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago by calling (773) 763-6000.
Worried about that mole? Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. If melanoma is detected early, it is almost always curable. From Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach at North Branch Dermatology in Chicago, IL, read on to find out how and when you should check yourself for moles .
When Should I Look for Moles?
Skin cancer can arise at any age but most commonly occurs after puberty. Although the average age of diagnosis is 52, skin cancer is the second most common cancer in individuals aged 15-29.
Making a habit of examining your skin on a regular basis will help detect any abnormal growths. Dermatologists recommend that you conduct a self-exam once a month, looking for any new skin moles and changes in the skin moles you already have.
How Do I Check Myself for Moles?
When checking your skin, remember to examine the front and back of your body, then right and left with your arms up. Inspect your neck, back, and upper arms, and look at the backs of your feet and legs as well as your soles and in-between your toes.
Melanoma usually occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body— but skin cancer doesn’t always follow the rules. You should check your skin thoroughly and look at places that are usually covered by clothing.
When is a Mole Not Just a Mole?
Most benign moles are often a single shade of brown. Melanoma may become white, blue, or red or have a number of shades of brown. Benign skin moles have a smooth and even border, unlike cancerous moles. The borders of melanoma tend to be uneven and the edges are notched or scalloped.
If you have skin moles that look similar to one another, then they are probably benign. Additionally, if you have moles that have been with you for decades without significant change, that is usually a sign that you don't need to worry about them.
Call North Branch Dermatology LLC
If you need a mole check and live in the Chicago area, call North Branch Dermatology at 773-763-6000 to make an appointment today. Dr. Elizabeth Fahrenbach is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in diseases of the skin, including skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. Take charge of your own health.