Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago
Dermatology located in River North, Chicago, IL
Most moles are harmless, but depending on their size and location, they may affect your self-esteem or prevent you from wearing certain outfits. At Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago, the team of expert dermatologists specializes in the removal of moles for both cosmetic and medical reasons. To request a consultation at the practice in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, call the office or use the online scheduling feature today.
What are moles?
Moles are brown, black, or pink growths that develop on your skin. They typically form on areas of your body exposed to sunlight, like your torso, arms, legs, and scalp.
Most people have 10 to 40 moles. Often, they fade away or change in size over time. Most moles are harmless, but some are cancerous. As a result, it’s important to monitor your skin regularly.
When should I visit a dermatologist about moles?
Make an appointment with the team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago if you suspect you have melanoma or another type of skin cancer. To do that, refer to the ABCDE guide:
- A: Asymmetrical shape can point to melanoma
- B: Borders that are irregular or not well-defined merit a check for melanoma
- C: Color: Multiple colors could indicate melanoma
- D: Diameter: A diameter greater than 6 mm may point to melanoma
- E: Evolving: Changing characteristics can be a sign of melanoma
If you have a mole that’s unusually shaped, growing larger, or itchy and bleeding, it’s important to get it checked out. Even if the mole isn’t cancerous, the team can make recommendations to help you feel better.
How are moles diagnosed?
To diagnose moles, your Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago provider reviews your health history and examines your skin. During the exam, they inspect your skin from head to toe, looking for any unusual moles that might indicate skin cancer.
If your provider finds one (or several) moles that look cancerous, they might order a biopsy. During a biopsy, they remove a small piece of tissue and send it to a laboratory for evaluation.
How are moles treated?
Most moles aren’t cancerous, so they don’t require treatment.
If your provider determines you have a cancerous mole or you have a mole that affects your confidence or self-esteem, they might recommend surgically removing it. To do that, your provider administers a local anesthetic to numb your skin. Then, they use special tools to cut around the edge of the mole and remove it.
If you aren’t interested in undergoing surgery (and it isn’t necessary), your provider can show you how to cover the mole up with makeup.
Is there any way to prevent moles?
There’s no way to prevent moles entirely, but there are things you can do to significantly reduce your risk. The team at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago recommends:
- Avoiding peak sunlight
- Wearing sunscreen year-round
- Wearing sunglasses and long clothes to protect your eyes and skin
- Avoiding tanning lamps and beds
To explore the various treatment options for moles, make an appointment at Medical Dermatology Associates of Chicago by calling the office or using the online booking feature today.
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