South County Dermatology

Posts for tag: moles

February 21, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles  

How your dermatologists in East Greenwich, RI, can help you protect yourself against skin cancer

Everyone has moles. They happen when the cells that cause skin color, called melanocytes, clump together. Most moles are normal, but there are some signs and symptoms your mole might be the start of a more serious condition, such as skin cancer. Fortunately, the dermatologists here at South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI, offer skin cancer screening and mole removal to help protect you against skin cancer.

More about skin cancer

You should examine your moles regularly, and you should make a note of any moles that have:

  • A diameter greater than 6 millimeters
  • An asymmetrical, or non-uniform shape
  • Ragged, irregular borders
  • A noticeable change in color, size, height, or shape

You should seek out help from your dermatologist if any of your moles have the characteristics listed above, especially if you have a mole that is itching, burning, or is painful. Moles that are oozing fluid or bleeding should also be checked out as soon as possible.

Your dermatologist may recommend removing a mole and doing a biopsy of the mole tissue to determine if the mole is abnormal, precancerous, or cancerous. Mole removal is a simple, outpatient procedure, during which the area is numbed completely and removed by:

  • Shaving the mole by cutting underneath and around the mole; this procedure is best for small moles and doesn’t require sutures.
  • Excising the mole using a punching instrument to remove the mole completely; sutures are typically needed for this procedure.

Concerned? Give us a call

Keep an eye on your moles and regularly check your skin. As always, use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 if you are spending a lot of time outside. To learn more about moles and mole removal, skin cancer, and other dermatology topics, talk with the experts. Call the dermatologists of South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI, at (401) 471-3376. Call today!

By Robert K Dyer, MD
January 30, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: moles  

Do you have a mole? Chances are good that you have few of them, actually. The average person has around 30-40 moles, and while moles are usually nothing to worry about it is important to be able to spot any changes that could be warning signs of skin cancer. That’s why you should perform self-exams every month to check the state of your moles. Just because they could be harmless doesn’t mean you should ignore them.

A mole that develops after the age of 30, a mole that bleeds or a changing mole could be a sign of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. This is why it’s important to check your moles regularly. When found early, melanoma is highly treatable. When it comes to pinpointing melanoma your dermatologist may teach you about the ABCDE's of skin cancer:

Asymmetry: If you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole both sides would be completely symmetrical; however, an asymmetrical mole could be a sign of melanoma.

Border: Melanoma is more likely to produce growths that have jagged or poorly defined edges.

Color: Healthy moles are usually a single color, while melanoma will often contain different colors or dark spots.

Diameter: Most healthy moles are smaller than a pencil eraser. If you notice that one or more moles are getting bigger you should speak to your dermatologist.

Evolution: Moles stay relatively the same over time; therefore, if you notice any changes to the size, color, shape, or texture then it’s time to consult with a skincare professional.

Of course, melanoma isn’t the only type of skin cancer to be on the lookout for. The two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas often present as waxy-looking pale bumps on the skin, often on the head or neck, while squamous cells feel like firm nodules that may be smooth at first but become scaly.

Even if you aren’t noticing changes in your moles it’s still a good idea to schedule a skin cancer screening with your dermatologist once a year. Those at an increased risk for skin cancer may want to discuss coming in more often for exams. This exam is non invasive and could just save your life. If you’ve never had a skin cancer screening before it’s high time that you scheduled one.

December 11, 2018
Category: Skin Health
Tags: moles  

Mole ExamIt is normal for people to have a few moles present somewhere on their body. In most cases, moles are harmless. However, some moles do present a risk for developing skin cancer. Any moles that are a concern can be removed by a dermatologist. A dermatologist can examine any moles you have to assess whether or not removal is necessary. At South County Dermatology, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione are your dermatologists for mole removal in East Greenwich, RI.

When Mole Removal is Necessary

Mole removal could be necessary when there are signs of possible cancer growth. Changes in the appearance of moles can be an indication of cancer development. The change can be in the color, size, shape, or texture of the mole. The bottom line is that any change is suspicious and should be examined by a dermatologist. American Academy of Dermatology has identified the following characteristics as being possible indicators of cancerous growth that could necessitate removal of a mole:

  • The mole is asymmetrical
  • The mole has a poorly defined or an irregular border
  • The mole is not a consistent color throughout
  • The mole is 6mm or greater in size
  • The appearance of the mole has changed

It is important that you schedule a skin-cancer screening with a dermatologist if you observe any of the above characteristics in any of the moles on your body. A dermatologist can perform a biopsy of any suspicious moles to determine if cancer cells are present. Even if there is no sign of cancer, the dermatologist could still recommend removal of suspicious moles as a preventive measure.

The Mole Removal Process

The mole removal process is fairly straightforward out-patient procedure so you can return home the same day. To remove a mole, the doctor can either shave the mole off with a scalpel or remove it through excision. The doctor will first numb the area around the mole before removing it. If the mole is removed by excision, stitches will be required to close the area following removal of the mole. If the mole is shaved off, no stitches are typically necessary as the mole is generally removed flush with the skin level.

A dermatologist can determine if removal of any moles is necessary. For mole removal in East Greenwich, RI schedule an appointment with Dr. Dyer or Dr. Criscione by calling South County Dermatology at (401) 471-3376. Other office locations include Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI.

January 17, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: moles  

Find out whether your moles are healthy or may need to be removed.moles

Moles are common skin growths that most people have at least one of, if not a few. While those with fairer skin may sport more moles than someone with darker skin, it’s important that if you do have moles that you can continue to monitor them regularly for any changes. Our East Greenwich, RI, dermatologists, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione, are here to tell you the telltale warning signs that may mean it’s time to have that mole removed.

Most of the moles that we have on our bodies appeared during childhood or our teen years. Moles come in a variety of different sizes and colors. Of course, if you are starting to notice any changes to a mole this could be an early warning sign of melanoma, a very serious type of skin cancer that can be life-threatening if left untreated.

You should schedule a consultation with our East Greenwich skin doctor if you have:

  • An asymmetrical mole (if you were to draw a line down the middle of mole, both sides would be symmetrical in size and shape, if they aren’t this could be an early warning sign)
  • A mole that contains several different colors
  • A mole that itches, bleeds or scabs over or becomes raised
  • A mole that has a fuzzy, poorly defined border
  • A mole that is larger than the eraser end of a pencil

Everyone from children to adults should come in once a year to get a full skin cancer screening. While you should certainly be examining your skin on your own and checking moles once a month this thorough professional evaluation will ensure that if there is melanoma present that it’s detected and treated right away.

Of course, not all moles are cancerous but patients just find them unsightly or a nuisance. If you have a mole that makes you feel uncomfortable to bear your arms in the summer or you have a mole on your face, then you may just want to have it removed to improve your appearance. Luckily, a mole can easily be removed right here in our office. While you should never try and remove a mole at home, our dermatologists can easily perform a simple surgical procedure to remove the mole and stitch up the area. A mole can often be removed in just one visit.

If in doubt, call South County Dermatology in East Greenwich, RI, to find out if you need to have a mole removed. No matter whether you are noticing any changes to the mole or it’s in a less-than-ideal spot, we can help.

December 21, 2016
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles  

Almost all adults have a few moles scattered across their bodies; the average amount is between 10 to 40 moles. If you've wondered moleabout the size, shape or appearance of any of your moles, our dermatology professionals at South County Dermatology in Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington and East Greenwich, RI have some basic information for you.

What are moles?

When skin cells called melanocytes bunch up in a small, rounded cluster rather than spreading out evenly, a mole, or nevus, develops. Moles can be flat or raised and are usually a different color than the skin surrounding them; they can be pink, tan, red or brown. People with lighter skin tones typically have more moles. While most moles are normal and harmless, some can have irregular properties like notched borders, varied colors or diameters larger than 5 millimeters. Many of these moles are atypical or dysplastic, which means they are benign but have physical features that mimic cancer. However, if these features develop suddenly, it can be indicative of skin cancer. In these cases, the mole will need to be removed by your Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington and East Greenwich dermatologist.

What is a cancerous mole?

There are three basic types of skin cancers that arise from moles: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The first two are more common and less likely to spread to other areas of the body, while melanoma can be life-threatening if it spreads, or metastasizes. The good news is that by visiting your dermatology office once a year for a skin check, you increase the likelihood that any skin cancers will be detected early, which in turn greatly reduces your risk for developing metastasized melanoma.

Why are moles removed?

There are several reasons why moles are removed from a patient's body at our dermatology practice. It could be a cosmetic issue; some visible moles on the face, neck or chest can be distracting. Other moles might be in a location where they are constantly irritated by clothing or jewelry. Other moles might display properties of dysplasia or cancer that our dermatology professionals want to investigate further, and by removing these moles, they can be analyzed in a laboratory.

To schedule an appointment for a skin check or any other dermatology-related issue, contact South County Dermatology in Narragansett, Westerly, Barrington and East Greenwich, RI today!