Is It A Suspicious Mole? A Three-Part Checklist

Anyone can develop a benign, or harmless, mole, which makes it difficult to know whether a mole is suspicious or not. However, it's important for you to be able to make the distinction. Doing so could potentially save your life. Here are the three things to look out for if you don't know whether a mole is suspicious or not.


Suspicious, cancerous moles are often asymmetrical. What this means is that they aren't a perfect circle, oval, or even square -- they tend to be crooked. This is one of the first things that dermatologists recommend seeing them about. An oddly shaped mole is a bad sign.


Next, consider the color of the mole. Is it one color all the way across, or multiple? Multiple colors may be a bad sign as well. However, don't make the assumption that it's cancerous just yet. Moles can sometimes be influenced by circulation, makeup, and even bruises that can lead to them appearing discolored temporarily. If you're not sure, clean the mole thoroughly and give it a few days. If you do something like wear constrictive clothing over it normally, avoid that clothing until this test is complete. Then, after a few days, give it a close look again. If the colors are still odd, then you need medical attention.


Last but not least, the growth factor of suspicious moles tends to be a lot higher than that of benign moles. In other words, they grow larger very quickly. So if your mole started out small and is now approaching the size of a coin, you likely have a problem on your hands.

The good news here is that melanoma can often be caught early on when it's still in mole form. So get to a dermatologist's office right away. They'll examine your mole to determine if it's suspicious. If their findings match your own, they'll likely recommend removing the mole. This will not only stop any potential cancerous growth in its tracks but will also allow them to test the mole to see if it is indeed cancerous. Rest assured that this process is painless as you'll be numbed before the mole is removed.

Moles can be completely harmless or harbingers of ill health. If you're uncertain about whether or not one of your moles is suspicious, go to a dermatologist anyway. Knowing for sure could potentially save your life.

To learn more about moles and mole removal, contact a dermatologist in your area.