Skin Moles or Growths
Is this your symptom?
- Small bump, lump, spot, growth, or colored area of skin
- Moles, skin tags, or warts
- Questions about skin cancer
- Sebaceous cysts
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Skin cancer: malignant melanoma, basal cell, squamous cell
- Skin tags
Is it a mole or could it be melanoma?
Here are some things that increase the chance that it is melanoma (skin cancer). You should see your doctor if you have a mole with any of these.
- A - Symmetry: The shape of the mole is not round and two sides of a mole do not look the same.
- B - Border: The borders of the mole are irregular, blurry or look like they are "leaking" pigment (color) into the skin next to the mole.
- C - Color: A mole which changes color or contains more than one color.
- D - Diameter: Size larger than a pencil eraser (> 6 mm or > 0.25 inches).
- E - Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
What are other signs of skin cancer?
See your doctor if any of these occur.
- A new skin growth or mole
- A skin growth or mole that bleeds, feels rough to touch, or feels irritated
- A growing skin lesion in sun-damaged areas of skin
When to Call for Skin Moles or Growths
Call Doctor or Seek Care Now
- Fever and bump is tender to touch
- You think you need to be seen, and the problem is urgent
Call Doctor Within 24 Hours
- Looks like a boil, infected sore, or other infected rash
- You think you need to be seen, but the problem is not urgent
Call Doctor During Office Hours
- Skin growth or mole and two sides do not look the same (it is asymmetric)
- Skin growth or mole and border is irregular or blurry
- Skin growth or mole and changes color or it has more than one color
- Skin growth or mole and it is larger than a pencil eraser or increasing in size
- Skin growth or mole and it bleeds
- Skin growth is raised (sticks up off the skin) and feels rough to the touch
- Flat waxy-yellow patch near eyelids
- Scar that is growing larger
- You are not certain what it is
- You have other questions or concerns
Self Care at Home
- Small growth or mole that has not changed in size or how it looks
- What You Should Know:
- Moles are small growths on the skin. Most adults have between 10 and 40 moles.
- Normal moles are brown, tan, or pink. They are round or oval. They can be flat or slightly raised. They are smaller than a pencil eraser.
- An abnormal mole does not look the same as your other moles. It may be growing, change color, or look different in some other way. If you have a mole that is changing, you should see your doctor to get it checked.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Any change in a mole or growth
- A mole that looks different
- Fever or pain occurs
- You think you need to be seen
- You get worse
- Avoid Sun Exposure:
- Protect your skin from too much sun. Too much sun and sunburn can damage your skin. It increases your risk of getting skin cancer later in life.
- Use sunscreen if you are out in the sun.
- Stay in the shade during the middle of the day.
- Wear protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeve shirts. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and neck.
- Do not use tanning beds. Tanning beds can also cause skin damage.
- Monthly Skin Self-exam:
- Perform a skin self-exam once a month.
- Stand in front of a mirror. Look at every inch of your skin for new moles or changes in old ones.
And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.
Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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