In dermatology, we use the term atypical moles or dysplastic nevi to describe moles that are larger or appear more abnormal than others on your skin.
Atypical moles are benign (non-cancerous). However, melanoma can grow in an atypical mole. That said, it is important to continuously monitor your skin for new moles and any changes. It is also important to stay on top of your regular full body skin examinations. It is important to note that while a melanoma can grow from an atypical mole, not all atypical moles will develop a melanoma. The risk of melanoma is higher if you have:
- Four or more atypical moles
- Previous history of melanoma
- A first-degree family history (parent, brother, sister, or child had melanoma)
Atypical moles are often:
- Larger than an eraser on the end of a pencil.
- Have an odd or abnormal shape (not round).
- Display more than one color— a mix of tan, brown, red, and/or pink.
ABCDEs of Melanoma
When detected early, melanoma is highly treatable. Performing regular self skin exams at home can help catch early melanomas. The ABCDEs of melanoma provide easy guidelines in terms of what to look for when examining your moles.
A = Asymmetry: The shape is different from one side to another
B = Border: Jagged, blurred, or undefined edges
C = Color: Contains more than one color as mentioned above
D = Diameter: Larger than a pencil eraser, or 1/4 inch
E = Evolution: Sudden changes in size, shape, or color
Please call our office if you notice any new, changing, or abnormal moles. Early detection is key.
We offer mole removal through various methods depending on size, location, age, and additional factors.
Have you scheduled your full body skin exam? Call us to make an appointment, or request an appointment online.