Posts for tag: moles
Noticing some changes in a mole? It might be time to get it checked out.
When was the last time you performed a self-exam on your skin? If you don’t know, or if you haven’t been doing this, it’s important that you start. After all, early detection of melanoma and non-melanoma growths is vitally important for your health. Our Baton Rouge, LA, dermatologists Dr. William Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc and Dr. Ashley Record are here to offer some helpful tips on what to check for when it comes to suspicious moles.
Know Your ABCDEs
Learning your ABCs didn’t just come in handy as a child, it can also help you detect skin cancer, as well. Here are the ABCDEs that you should follow when it comes to checking your skin:
Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t look the same as the other half (healthy moles are symmetrical)
Border: Moles that have jagged, poorly defined borders
Color: Moles that contain multiple colors (healthy moles should be a single color)
Diameter: Moles that are larger than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolving: Moles that change in color, shape or size, as you get older (moles should stay the same over time)
Everyone should come in once a year for a routine skin cancer screening, even if they don’t have any risk factors. Of course, those with a personal or family history of skin cancer might want to come in more regularly for checkups. You’ll also want to make sure that you are dedicated to performing monthly self-exams. During your screening we can give you pointers for how to perform a comprehensive and thorough skin examination on yourself.
Of course there are ways to prevent skin cancer. Make sure that you are always wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day that has at least an SPF of 30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply a generous amount to your face and body about 20 minutes before going outside and make sure to reapply every two hours (or immediately after getting out of the water).
Wear protective clothing that doesn’t allow the rays to penetrate as easily through the fabric. Don’t forget to sport sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when going outside. When outside opt for shady areas rather than sitting directly in the sun. Whenever possible, try to avoid being in the sun for long periods of time between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
Atlas Dermatology in Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA, is here to provide comprehensive dermatology for the whole family. No matter if you are concerned about the health of your skin or just want to schedule your annual skin cancer screening, give us a call today.
Moles are growths that can appear on the surface of the skin. These moles can be rough, smooth, single, in multiples, flat or raised. They usually occur when cells that are responsible for skin pigment grow in clusters instead of spreading all over. These moles can be small, at just one quarter inch size. Most harms are harmless. However, it is important to be regularly examined by Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA, dermatology professional at Atlas Dermatology to make sure you are healthy.
Any changes in shape, size, color or texture can indicate some type of cancer growth. Moles that have a greater chance of becoming cancerous are most often irregularly-shaped, and are larger than the average and/or have a dark brown center or light uneven borders. Yearly skin checks from Baton Rouge and Prairieville dermatology specialists such as Dr. Massengale, Dr. LeBlanc and Dr. Record can save your life.
Abnormal moles can bleed, become scaly, or painful. Keep an eye on your moles to detect any changes early on. A visual check of the body monthly is important to see these changes. The American Academy of Dermatology has guidelines for determining whether or not a mole will become cancerous.
- Asymmetry: Does the mole match the other half in size, shape or color?
- Border: Are the edges irregular or scalloped
- Color: Is it the same color throughout?
- Diameter: Is the mole larger than 6 mm?
- Evolving: Is the mole different from others the patient has on their skin?
If any of this occurs, make an appointment immediately to be examined by a professional dermatologist. A biopsy can be done in order to determine whether or not a mole or moles are cancerous and should be surgically removed quickly. For more information on moles and knowing when they should be checked out, schedule an appointment with Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA, dermatology specialists at Atlas Dermatology.
Find out the warning signs that might make a mole suspect.
Most people have moles somewhere on their body, generally anywhere from at least 10 moles but usually no more than 40. While moles are genetic, other factors like your sun exposure increase how many moles you have. If you have a mole that is new or one you just noticed you might wondering if it’s a cause for concern. Learn more about different moles and when you might want to see one of our Baton Rouge dermatologists Dr. William Trent Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc and Dr. Ashley Coreil Record.
Types of Moles
There are three main types of moles:
Congenital: These moles are present from the moment you’re born and they may be at an increased risk of developing skin cancer later on in life.
Acquired: This is the most common type of mole, and they usually develop during childhood or early adulthood. Acquired moles may be the result of sun exposure but many of them won’t develop into skin cancer.
Atypical: These moles are much larger than regular moles and are often irregularly shaped. They may also contain more than one color. These moles are often hereditary and can increase your chances of skin cancer.
When You Should See Your Skin Doctor in Baton Rouge
If you notice a suspicious-looking growth then it’s always important to consult us right away to make sure that it isn’t melanoma. By examining your skin every day you can make it easier to spot new moles right away. If you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of moles or freckles it’s important that you see us for regular skin exams.
When looking at a mole always remember the ABCDEs of suspicious moles:
- A (Asymmetry): when half of a mole is shaped differently than the other half
- B (Border): when a mole has a poorly defined border
- C (Color): when a mole contains multiple colors (e.g. black, brown, red, etc.)
- D (Diameter): when a mole is larger than a pencil eraser
- E (Evolving) when a mole changes color, shape or size over time
Also, if a mole is painful, itches or bleeds this also means you should make a visit to our office. Always follow the ABCDEs of determining whether a mole is suspicious and if you aren’t sure, it’s always best to play it safe and see us.
Whether you have a suspicious mole or you just have questions about your skin, turn to the Baton Rouge skin care team at Atlas Dermatology. Call our office today!