What’s an abnormal mole?
Moles develop on a patient’s skin due to heredity or from exposure to ultraviolet light. The pigmented spots, or melanocytes, have the potential to change shape, colors, or become sore or tender. Any change in a mole is reason to call the dermatologist right away. This may be an early sign of skin cancer. Goodman Dermatology in Roswell, GA provides medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology services to clients with human skin disease or conditions such as abnormal moles.
I have some moles on my skin. How can I tell if they’re normal?
Benign moles are usually flesh-toned according to the patient’s skin color. However, unusual colors for the patient’s pigmented spots such as deep brown, yellow, purple, or black colors are cause for concern. Call the dermatologist to report a change in mole coloration.
While some physicians automatically recommend the excision of a newly raised or pigmented spot, others decide to monitor them and watch for any additional changes. A board-licensed dermatologist will biopsy any suspicious mole before recommending treatment.
Why is the doctor concerned about the moles on my skin?
The American Cancer Society says that some people are at higher risk for the development of melanoma, an extremely dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer. Individuals who develop melanoma may have melanocytes that are more likely to develop into this form of skin cancer. Most melanoma patients don’t report pain but pain is always a symptom that something is wrong. Contact Goodman Dermatology is a mole or skin lesion becomes suddenly tender or painful.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma is an extremely lethal form of skin cancer. Most patients who die of skin cancer have melanoma. The cancerous melanocytes tunnel into the skin tissues and, if left untreated, can metastasize through the patient’s bloodstream or lymph system. Although the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that female patients most frequently develop these cancers on their legs, it’s completely possible to have melanoma anywhere. Skin is the largest organ of the human body. Call Dr. Marcus B. Goodman about any suspicious-looking lesions or skin areas that don’t heal normally. Click here for more information about melanoma…
How will Dr. Goodman check my skin for any suspicious looking growths or moles?
Full body checks are essential to skin health management. Dr. Goodman will perform regular checks of the patient’s skin and discuss any concerns during an office visit. The patient should also perform self-checks. Ask a friend or family member to help you do this or use a mirror to evaluate the back of the body. Remember, skin cancer can appear anywhere, even on the soles of the feet!
What next steps does Dr. Goodman take if I have a suspicious skin area or melanocyte?
The dermatologist will biopsy the lesion to determine if cancer is present.
If I have skin cancer, what happens next?
Dr. Marcus B. Goodman is likely to recommend excision (surgical removal) of the melanocyte or lesion. Stitches may be necessary after surgery to help the skin to close and heal. A scar may result. Later treatments to remove or soften the appearance of the scar may be discussed at a future appointment.
The doctor may also decide to remove the lesion by a process called cauterization. He will perform the procedure with an instrument that looks like a razor. The first step involves shaving the raised portion of the melanocyte from the skin. To remove any remaining cells, the doctor then cauterizes the area. The skin is sealed and no stitches are necessary. The patient’s skin will scar after this treatment.
Can the dermatologist use a laser to remove abnormal moles?
In some cases, yes. Advanced removal techniques, including laser treatments, are often highly recommended for some patients. The eye of the laser sees the melanocyte’s pigmentation and breaks it up. After treatment, the patient’s body reabsorbs the dead cells. Laser removal can inflame the skin. Fewer scars result from laser removal than other therapies.
What happens after the doctor removes an abnormal mole?
The patient is given complete after-care instructions after the excision procedure. The skin should be kept scrupulously clean and covered. The patient will need some time to recover after the procedure. The potential of scarring is reduced if the patient rests quietly and avoids strenuous activity.
After healing is complete, Dr. Goodman recommends appropriate sunscreens and protective skin care products for the patient’s daily regimen.
The presence of abnormal moles is a serious skin condition that warrants immediate treatment. Patients in Roswell, Alpharetta, East Cobb, Cumming, Woodstock, Holly Springs and throughout greater Atlanta should contact Goodman Dermatology to arrange an appointment at (770) 754-0787.