Should I Get My Mole Checked Out?
If your mole looks a little different these days, it's a good idea to pay a visit to Dr. Jean-Denis Boucher and Dr. Sarah Green of Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic, your San Antonio, TX, dermatologists also serving Live Oak, TX. Changes in a mole can sometimes be caused by a type of skin cancer called melanoma.
When should I make an appointment with a skin doctor?
You may want to schedule a visit at our dermatology office in San Antonio, TX, serving Live Oak, TX, if you notice any of these mole changes:
- Your mole has changed color: Your mole may look black, tan, red, white, or blue, or have a mixture of several colors if you have skin cancer.
- The edges of your mole look different: Healthy moles have uniform borders. Melanoma can cause mole borders to become irregular, blurry, or rough.
- Your mole is uncomfortable: Let your dermatologist know if your mole is painful or itchy or if the skin around the mole is red and swollen. Itching or oozing moles should also be evaluated.
- You've noticed a change in the texture of your mole: A bumpy mole, or any change in texture, could be a sign that you have melanoma.
- Your mole looks a little bigger: Moles that are growing taller or wider and those larger than a pencil eraser should be examined.
- Your mole is lopsided: Moles are normally symmetrical. If one side of your mole doesn't match the other, skin cancer may be responsible for the change.
How do dermatologists treat melanoma?
A change in a mole doesn't automatically mean that you have skin cancer. Changes can also occur even if you don't have cancer. During your visit, your dermatologist may remove the mole if he or she thinks it looks suspicious. Laboratory technicians will examine the mole and determine if it's cancerous.
If you do have melanoma, prompt treatment will help you protect your health. The five-year survival rate for skin cancer is 99 percent if it's detected early, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Even though your mole was removed during your first visit to the dermatology office, you may still need surgery to remove lingering cancer cells in your skin. Depending on the spread of cancer, traditional surgery or skin-sparing Mohs surgery may be recommended.
Have you noticed any changes in your moles? Schedule a visit with Dr. Boucher and Dr. Green of Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic, your dermatologists in San Antonio, TX, serving Live Oak, TX.