Moles are commonplace skin growths, especially for patients who are fair-skinned. Most moles are tan or brown in color, sometimes raised, and vary in shape and size. Over time the appearance of your moles can change, often becoming lighter in color or larger. When a mole grows irritated, patients in the Woodlands and Conroe should seek a diagnosis from their doctor and take steps to remove it before it turns cancerous.
For most patients, this means scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist who specializes in skin diseases and will be able to treat your mole.
What Influences the Growth of Moles?
Whether or not moles grow larger or change their shape or color depends on a number of factors such as:
- Family tendency: If family members have moles that change over time. The risk of skin cancer is often tied to family history as well.
- Sun exposure: Patients unprotected from direct sunlight are more likely to have moles that change over time. To prevent this, apply sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful UVA and UVB light.
- Fair skin: Lighter-skinned patients lack skin pigmentation or melanin. They are both more likely to have moles and more likely to be affected by sun exposure.
Moles by themselves are not a concern. However, if you notice that your moles have become irritated, then you should consult a dermatologist for more information.
Signs of an Irritated Mole
Woodlands and Conroe patients who have raised moles sometimes experience irritation due to friction from rubbing, contact with rough clothing, or other types of injury. This can lead to symptoms such as:
These symptoms are the first signs that your mole could have an underlying problem and needs to be examined by a specialist.
Treatment for Irritated Mole
The first step to treating a mole is coming in for a diagnosis. Dr. Perri can quickly assess the severity of your symptoms and make a recommendation for one of the following treatments:
- Surgical removal: Removing the entire mole, including the parts that are under the skin.
- Shaving: Removing the visible part of the mole only.
Both procedures will stop irritation, to improve appearance, and prevent the mole from becoming cancerous. Dr. Perri will make a recommendation for the method of mole removal depending on the location of your mole and risk for skin cancer.
Recovering From an Irritated Mole
Both methods of mole removal are effective and have a very fast recovery period. You will need to keep the mole bandaged. Depending on which procedure you had, it may take up to one week to heal. During that time, you may have some minor: