What are moles?

Moles, also known as nevi, are common and can be found anywhere on the skin.  Moles are growths composed of the pigment producing cells in the skin.  Most adults have a few moles.  And most moles arise during childhood or young adulthood.  While most moles are completely normal, a form of skin cancer called melanoma can arise from a mole and the first sign of a melanoma is a change in the appearance of a mole.  When caught early, melanoma is curable.  Dr. Gandhi is trained to examine moles and can help you learn how to do self-skin examinations so you can learn to examine your moles at home.


What are the types of moles?

Moles can appear different from one another: some may be skin colored, others brown or blue or black.  They may be flat or raised. 

Acquired moles are the most common type of mole and appear during childhood or young adulthood. 

Congenital moles develop at the time of birth and vary in size.  Large congenital moles can increase one’s lifetime risk for melanoma.

Dysplastic or atypical moles differ from normal moles in that they are usually larger than the size of a pencil eraser, have an irregular shape, and two or more colors.  While atypical moles are not melanoma, having four or more of them can increase one’s chance of developing melanoma. 


Do I need to have my moles examined?

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends annual mole checks.  Annual screenings are important for surveillance of moles and for early detection of any changes to moles.

If you have many moles, irregularly shaped or colored moles, moles that are changing, itching or bleeding, or have a family member who has had abnormal moles or melanoma, call Lake Shore Dermatology today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gandhi to have your moles examined in a professional, caring setting.


Contact Lake Shore Dermatology to schedule your appointment with Dr. Gandhi for a mole check today.

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