Mole Treatment in Austin
It is not at all uncommon to have moles on your body; most people either have one or know someone who does. They can be a distinguishing and unique feature, but in some cases, they can potentially spell trouble in the form of melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. At Tru-Skin Dermatology, we can check your moles during a skin check, removing dangerous moles as quickly as possible to minimize the risk of skin cancer. Throughout the Austin and Central Texas area, we are the Center of Excellence when it comes to treating skin cancer, so feel free to reach out to our experienced dermatologists to learn more about our mole treatments.
What is a mole?
A mole is a type of skin lesion, which is a broad term referring to any type of abnormality on the skin. More specifically, a mole is a growth on the skin that typically is either black or brown. It’s a dark spot that has risen on your skin and is comprised of a cluster of skin cells that grew together. You can have a mole anywhere on your body, and it can be single mole or in a group. People tend to have a mole appear over the first 25 years, and the average person can have anywhere between 10 to 40 moles. There are various reasons for the emergence of moles. It could be because you were born with them and inherited them via your family’s genes, or because of sun exposure. Some people may also develop moles due to hormones (for example, during pregnancy or puberty).
Types of skin moles
About 5-6mm, this mole is often pigmented with a smooth surface, and is normally the result of sun exposure. If the mole has a diameter of greater than a pencil eraser, it should be checked immediately. These moles tend to form during childhood but may not appear until later in life. (If a mole appears after age 50, please schedule an appointment immediately.)
Also known as dysplastic nevi, these moles have irregular symptoms, such as different colors or a larger size. Roughly 1 in 10 Americans has at least one atypical mole. The more atypical moles you have, the higher your chance of developing skin cancer; if you have 10 or more atypical moles, the chance of developing melanoma skin cancer is 12 times higher. That said, most dysplastic nevi are benign (not cancerous).
Approximately 1 out of every 100 babies is born with a mole, which can range dramatically in size, shape, color, and texture. The risk for a baby born with a congenital mole decreases proportionally to its size; smaller and medium sized moles do not carry a high risk of melanoma. Any changes mean your child needs immediate attention.
Moles can also be categorized by location—for example, those occurring where the dermis and epidermis layers of skin meet.
How to know if you may have a cancerous mole
Although most moles are not dangerous, there is always the possibility you may have a cancerous mole and need a mole check. You should immediately pay a visit to one of our dermatologists in Austin if you notice a change in a mole’s color, size, or shape. If your mole suddenly becomes painful or itchy, these are also important warning signs. The more exposure your moles have to the sun, the higher the chance of developing cancer.
The golden rule to follow when you check your moles is the ABCDE guide below. If you see a mole displaying any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with us immediately.
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border: The mole’s borders or edges are not even; they’re irregular or blurred.
- Color: The mole has changed color or is two different colors.
- Diameter: The mole is more than 1/4 inch or 6 mm in diameter.
- Enlargement: The mole has grown larger over time.
Mole checks in Austin, TX
If you suspect you have a cancerous mole or run a higher risk of contracting skin cancer, please come in for a full body skin check as soon as possible.
When it is time to check your moles, we will make use of the DermLite DL100, the first oil-free, handheld epi-luminescent dermoscopy advice. Harnessing the latest advancements in technology, we will be able to quickly and accurately detect atypical features in moles within just a few seconds. We will then work together with you to see how to best proceed. We may also conduct a biopsy for further evaluation.
In the event you have a cancerous mole or simply wish to remove a mole for cosmetic reasons, the experienced dermatologist team at Tru-Skin Dermatology offers attractive cosmetic results for mole removal. We perform surgical excision with minimal scarring, and smaller moles can essentially be “shaved off.” If you have a larger mole, we may simply cut it out and sew the wound edges together. In the event of an even larger mole, the excision may be done in stages (known as serial excision).
If you need more information about moles or our mole treatments and removals in Austin, feel free to get in touch by calling us at (512) 451-0139. You can also schedule an appointment for a mole removal or treatment today. We look forward to hearing from you!