Dr. Zizmor should examine any new mole on a person over the age of 25. Moles should also be evaluated if they change shape. Asymmetric moles are a sign of melanoma. If melanoma is treated early, it can be cured. Other causes for concern are moles that become painful, bleed, or itch. Normal moles do not all look alike, even on the same person, but they do not change from month to month.
People with a lot of moles will not necessarily develop melanoma. Melanoma often appears on normal skin but may form close to a mole. If a suspicious mole is found during self-examination, it should be immediately evaluated by a dermatologist. Dermatologists closely examine all moles to determine if they are abnormal. If an abnormal mole is found, the dermatologist may remove cells from it for a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous.
A guide to evaluating whether moles are problematic is the ABCDE method. Moles that are asymmetric have an irregular border, are a different color than other moles, are larger than a pencil eraser in diameter, and evolve over time require prompt attention from Dr. Zizmor. Moles can be removed surgically or with laser treatment to achieve excellent cosmetic results.