Though the majority of adults have a handful of harmless moles since childhood, the growth of new moles shouldn’t be ignored. The experienced dermatologists at Vanguard Dermatology recommend scheduling a routine exam any time you notice new mole growth or changes in your existing moles as a preventive measure for skin cancer.
Moles are a clump of skin cells that contain a high level of melanocytes that give the mole its color, ranging from pink to dark brown or black.
Moles can grow anywhere on your body, especially in areas where the skin is frequently exposed to sun. The cell clusters are quite common in childhood and throughout adolescence, often growing because of the hormone changes associated with puberty.
Although new mole growth in adults isn’t always an indication of cancer, developing new moles later in life may increase the likelihood you have precancerous or cancerous skin cells. This is especially true of mole that shows the characteristics of a cancerous growth, such as:
Your risk for new moles being cancerous can also increase if you have a previous history of cancer or have a family history of melanoma.
In addition to your genetics, you may be prone to new mole growth throughout your adult life because of:
If you have a history of sunburns in your childhood or have previously used tanning beds, you’re more likely to experience new mole growth in adulthood.
Everyone with moles should perform self-skin checks at home on a regular basis. Identifying cancerous changes in existing moles early plays a big role in the success of your treatment.
The Vanguard Dermatology team provides guidance for evaluating own your moles monthly to help you recognize potentially dangerous changes. They also provide professional in-office skin exams to monitor your existing moles from one visit to the next.
In addition to tracking mole growth, the skilled dermatologists offer mole removal services if benign moles are affecting how you feel about your appearance. Depending on your needs, you can have moles safely removed in-office using one or more techniques like:
The dermatologists are also highly experienced in Mohs surgery, a process to remove moles one layer at a time to protect the healthy skin tissue surrounding the mole.
Even if you don’t want to remove moles or you aren’t noticing any changes in existing ones, you should still schedule yearly skin checks at Vanguard Dermatology to stay proactive about the health of your skin, especially if there’s a history of cancer in your family.
To report the growth of a new mole or to book a routine skin exam, reach out to the Vanguard Dermatology team by phone today, or request an appointment online now.