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  • An annual skin checkup is an essential part of a proper skin care routine.
  • The average person has between 10 and 40 moles on their body.
  • Moles fall under three categories: congenital, acquired, and atypical.
  • Moles can be raised or flat and take on a variety of colors: brown, black, red or pink.
  • Call Aspen immediately if you experience a mole that appears suddenly, grows quickly, changes shape, begins to itch, and/or bleeds or looks infected.

More About Moles

Mole Removal

Cancer concerns, physical irritation, or self-consciousness are all valid reasons to remove a mole, but trying to remove moles at home is not advisable. In addition to the greater risk of scarring or infection, biopsies are necessary to determine if the growth was cancerous. At Aspen, we use surgical excision or shaving, prioritizing techniques and aftercare practices to minimize scarring. In both cases, the area is numbed and the tissue is biopsied.

Types of Moles

One in every 100 babies is born with at least one congenital mole, which may be flat, red, pink, or brown. Most congenital moles do not become cancerous. Acquired moles appear later in life due to sun damage, are round in shape, take on a brown color and darken with time, but do not necessarily become melanoma. Atypical moles affect at least 1 in 10 people in the U.S. and have a higher likelihood of becoming cancerous. Considered by definition to be precancerous, they are larger than typical moles, irregularly shaped, and may be a variety of colors.

Practicing Proper Skin Care

Those with a family history of skin cancer or over 50 acquired moles on their body are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, but everyone should be practicing proper skin care. This includes scheduling annual dermatologist checkups, regularly assessing the quantity and appearance of existing moles, and always using proper sun protection (wearing hats and using at least SPF 30 sunscreen.)

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

When checking your moles for signs of cancer, look out for these characteristics known as the ABCDEs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border (irregular and/or poorly defined)
  • Color variations within the same mole
  • Diameter (6mm or larger)
  • Evolving (won’t look the same one month to the next)

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