Moles are one of the most common reasons adults visit dermatologists. The team, led by dermatologist Pinkas Lebovits, MD, PC, understands that a changing or growing mole can seem frightening. That’s why he provides comprehensive mole checks and treatments at Park Plaza Dermatology in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. To schedule a mole/growth consultation, call Park Plaza Dermatology, or book an appointment online.
Moles are skin growths that can vary in color from light and dark brown to pink, black, or even blue. The average person has about 10-40 moles, with most developing before the age of 20. Moles are made up of melanocytes, the cells that help tan your skin by producing melanin.
When melanocytes form a small cluster, they create a mole. In most cases, moles are harmless. Over time, however, they can turn into a serious type of skin cancer called melanoma.
In addition to moles, other skin growths you might encounter include:
Skin growths might be skin-colored, brown, tan, black, red, pink, or white. Like moles, other skin growths can be cancerous, which is why early detection and treatment are crucial. A skin biopsy helps your provider determine if your skin growth is dangerous or simply a cosmetic nuisance.
Moles can be flat or raised and often contain hair. They may grow slowly over the years and can appear anywhere on your body, including the scalp, genitals, and nails. A mole is a cause for concern if it:
If you have any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with Park Plaza Dermatology right away.
Your provider will perform a physical exam of your skin to determine if any of your moles are cause for concern. He may magnify and illuminate the mole with a special tool called a dermatoscope.
If one of your moles looks suspicious, your provider will biopsy it and send it in for testing. First, he numbs the skin surrounding the mole and removes a small portion of it. Depending on the size of the biopsy, he may stitch up the small wound.
If your testing returns normal results, then no further treatment is needed. However, you can return to Park Plaza Dermatology to have the full mole removed if you wish.
Some moles are technically considered “abnormal,” but not cancerous. In this case, you should return to the office for annual mole checks to minimize your chances of developing cancer.
A melanoma mole is the most concerning type of skin cancer. If you’re diagnosed with melanoma, your provider will remove the mole, as well as the skin surrounding it. In some cases, you may be referred for further evaluation of your surrounding lymph nodes to ensure the cancer has not spread.
Call Park Plaza Dermatology right away, or book an appointment online if you’re concerned about new or changing moles.