Moles are dark colored growths on the skin, usually brown or black. They can occur nearly everywhere on the body, either by themselves or in clusters. Typically, moles appear from childhood up to about the age of 25. It’s normal for one to have as many as 40 moles. As you age, some moles may become raised or change color, and hairs may develop while others may not change or may even disappear.
Moles form from clusters of skin cells called melanocytes, which normally make pigment that creates the color of a person’s skin. When they cluster, they produce the darker color associated with a mole. Exposure to sun, adolescence, and pregnancy may all cause moles to change color.
Most moles are harmless. Those that are cause for concern usually show visual signs of changes. Moles that first appear after the age of 25 are unusual. Those that change in size and color should be checked. If a mole becomes itchy or painful, or if it bleeds or oozes, it’s time to see Dr. Brown. There’s a mnemonic device used to self-assess moles and determine if they need medical examination. It’s the ABCDE method:
If a mole exhibits one or more of these factors, it may be biopsied, or excised.
There are three basic ways moles are removed: freezing, burning or cutting.
Each of these methods can be done with local anesthetics. Suspicious moles will be sent for cancer testing.
Dr. Brown accepts most insurances. Please contact the office for further insurance information.
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