Moles–which are concentrations of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes– are a common physical attribute. In fact, most people have at least one. The lighter your skin is, the more moles you have.
Most moles are benign, and thus, don’t require any treatment. Nevertheless, if a new mole suddenly appears when a person is older, it may be a cause for concern. That’s because new moles in adults are more likely to become cancerous than old, existing moles.
Here are the signs you should look out for if you notice a brand-new mole on your skin.
Warning Signs Related to New Moles
A study conducted in 2017 found that about 71 percent of melanomas – the most serious form of skin cancer – arose from a new mole.
Below are the common characteristics of melanomas:
- They are asymmetrical in shape. In other words, each half of the mole is different.
- The mole has irregular borders.
- The mole has changed color or has various colors.
- The mole is getting larger (more than a quarter inch in diameter) or keeps changing its shape or thickness.
Melanomas are rarely found on parts of the body protected from sunlight. The most common sites in women are on the arms and legs, while men typically develop melanomas on their back, trunk, head, and neck.
Although non-Caucasians have a lower risk of developing a melanoma, they may still develop the condition, and in atypical locations, such as in the soles of the feet, palms, under the toenails or fingernails, and in between toes and fingers.
A Good Reason to See a Dermatologist
The reason as to why new moles appear in adulthood is not well understood. Nonetheless, since the risk of them becoming cancerous is higher, you should have yours checked out by a dermatologist as soon as possible, especially if your mole is itching, bleeding, oozing, or painful.
It’s also essential to see a dermatologist for an annual skin check. If you have a high risk for melanoma— if you have a family history; have fair skin, freckles, or light hair; or have increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light— it is recommended that you go for a skin check every six months.
Fortunately, early detection of melanoma is associated with high survival rates, up to 93 percent.
Mole Screening in Miami, Florida
If you need mole screening, visit us here at Dermatology and Skin Care Center in Miami, Florida. You can rest assured to get the accurate diagnosis and high-quality care that you need.
Dr. Theodore John “TJ” Giuffrida, our board-certified dermatologist, is renowned as one of the leading skin cancer specialists in the United States—the reason many patients from around the world gravitate to our practice.
To arrange a consultation with Dr. Giuffrida, contact us today at (305) 461-2000 or use our convenient online request form.