Are moles small skin problems that my Rockville dermatologist should remove?
Although many people visit Washington Dermatology Center for our outstanding aesthetic treatments, Dr. Prussick and his team are highly skilled at treating a wide variety of medical skin conditions as well. Where moles are concerned, these small marks on the skin may be considered either cosmetic or medical problems. Most of the moles we see in our Rockville and Frederick offices are harmless. Many of them may be, however, unappealing to the eye.
How do you know if it’s a mole or skin cancer?
This is a good question to ask because most adults have anywhere from a dozen to several dozen moles on their body. Many are related to sun damage and may be basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. The condition that we worry about the most is melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can easily go undetected.
Some of the best advice we can give to our patients is to become very familiar with every existing mole. This is an easy goal to achieve when monthly self examinations are performed. Through these monthly checks, it is possible to notice changes in any mole and receive further evaluation quickly. Most often, a healthy mole will remain unchanged in shape, color, and size. Changes such as bleeding, itching, or growth are indicative of abnormal cell activity.
In addition to performing monthly skin cancer screenings on yourself, annual professional screenings are also imperative to the early detection of melanoma skin cancer, a type which may be missed with an untrained eye.
What if skin cancer is detected?
Our goal is to help our patients avoid the various types of skin cancer by educating them about the use of sunscreen and other protective measures. Secondary to that, our goal is to identify abnormal cells right away. Melanoma, in fact, has a very high cure rate with dearly detection. The concern is raised when detection has taken time and cancer has had a chance to spread. If skin cancer is diagnosed, there are a variety of treatment options available at Washington Dermatology Center. These will be discussed in detail if and when necessary.
What about benign moles?
Non-cancerous moles are not a health concern. They can be, however, removed for aesthetic reasons or because they are uncomfortable. If you have a mole that is catching on clothing or bleeds periodically due to friction, you may want to discuss your options for removal with your dermatologist.
Our team is committed to outstanding medical and cosmetic dermatological care. To experience the immense benefits of expert treatments, contact us in Frederick or Rockville.Back to General Dermatology Page