- Dark pigment that is brown or black in color
- Texture that is raised or flat
- Can be hairless or develop hairs
in Fargo, North Dakota
Nearly every person has at least a few moles on their skin. However, for some patients, they can become problematic to their cosmetic goals or their health. Whatever your concerns, we can recommend the best in treatments for you.
What are Moles?
Moles can come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. They’re made up a buildup of melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce pigment. They can be textured or raised above the skin, or flat against it. Moles are generally harmless and form within the first several years of life, and some people simply develop more than others because of genetics. There are different types that can be more prone to becoming cancerous, so it’s highly important to always screen yourself for any changes and see Dr. Ness for treatment.
What Causes Moles?
Moles are caused by melanocytes. These are cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its natural color. Sometimes, instead of spreading throughout the skin and distributing pigment evenly, these cells cluster together in certain areas. This causes a mole to form. When this happens over the natural course of your life, it can be harmless. When it happens as the result of UV exposure, it results in cancerous activity that can be dangerous. This usually is indicated by certain changes in the mole and its appearance.
What Changes Should I Watch Out For?
Dermatologists recommend that you regularly screen yourself at home for any changes in your existing moles. When doing so, you should keep in mind the ABCDE’s of melanoma:
- Asymmetry: One part or side of the mole is unlike the other
- Border: The edge of the mole is textured, uneven, or poorly-defined
- Color: The mole has abnormal colors like white, red, or blue and is blotchy
- Diameter: A border greater than 6mm can be indicative of a melanoma
- Evolving: The mole experiences change in one of the above factors
If you notice any of these changes, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ness immediately.
Dr. Ness and her staff are awesome! I highly recommend them!
How are Moles Treated?
There are many different treatment methods for moles, depending on whether you’re looking for cosmetic improvement or melanoma treatment. Dr. Ness can recommend the right treatment plan for you during a consultation.
There a are a few cosmetic treatments that can effectively reduce the appearance of moles, depending on your skin and your individual moles. For some moles, surgical excision can be the best option and for others, a shave removal is effective. The type of removal can give you the best cosmetic outcome while minimizing recurrence.
If Dr. Ness determines that your mole is showing signs of cancerous activity and should be removed, surgical excision or shave removal can be performed.
Although everyone will develop some moles at some point in their life, you can take steps to prevent moles from further developing, darkening, or becoming cancerous. This includes using a broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly when you go outside and reapplying every few hours. This also includes using protective clothing, sunglasses, and lip balm. It’s highly important to avoid tanning beds or UV lamps, as these can contribute to the cancerous activity. It’s widely believed that being in the sun or experiencing UV rays can cause moles to develop, so good sun protection is one of the best ways to prevent them.
Schedule A Consultation
Although moles can be a cosmetic concern for many patients, it’s also important to ensure that they don’t affect your health. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ness and discuss your treatment options, contact us or book online today.