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Are Moles Something to Worry About?

Find out if you should have a mole checked out by our Encinitas, CA, skin doctors. 

When was the last time you gave your skin a good self-exam to check your moles? Moles are skin growths that we all have. The problem is that, over time, they can turn cancerous. This is why it’s important to not only perform your own skin exams every month but to also visit our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists Dr. David Thomas and Dr. Margaret Hobson Dupree once a year to have your moles checked by a professional.

What does a healthy mole look like? 

Moles are round, raised symmetrical growths that can range in color from flesh-colored to dark brown or even black. While moles typically develop within the first 20 years of life, some moles may develop later in life. Healthy moles generally stay the same in color, size, and shape over the years.

What are the warning signs of skin cancer? 

It’s important that you are performing a self-exam at least once a month on your skin to check for any changes in your moles that could mean early signs of skin cancer. You should also visit our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists once a year for a comprehensive skin examination. Some signs that a mole could be cancerous include:

  • A ragged, irregular, or blurry borders
  • Multiple colors or pinkness
  • An asymmetrical shape
  • Bleeding, itching, redness, or pain

Any changes to the shape, color, or size of a mole should be evaluated by our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists. Changes may be subtle, which is why it’s always best to keep tabs on your moles. If in doubt, just give us a call and let us know what you’re dealing with. We can determine if you need to come in right away for an evaluation.

What are risk factors for skin cancer? 

While anyone can develop skin cancer, certain factors can increase your risk. These risk factors include:

  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Tanning bed exposure
  • Past sunburns or experiencing severe sunburns in your lifetime
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Fair skin and light hair
  • A large number of moles

Worried about your moles? If so, our Encinitas, CA, dermatologists can easily examine your skin and determine whether further testing is needed. To schedule your annual skin cancer evaluation, call North County Dermatology Center at (760) 230-2805.

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