May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!
Checking out your moles is a great way to put your mind at ease.
Normal moles are small, benign brown spots or growths that can show up in any area of the skin when a person is young. These moles usually do not require med spa treatment, unless a person has cosmetic concerns. The appearance of these moles may be flat or elevated and they are generally round and regular-shaped. Sun exposure is a cause of many of these moles. However, eruptions in the skin that may begin as a flat spot and gradually become more elevated may be melanoma, which is one of the deadliest skin cancers. These growths often show up as asymmetrical, irregularly shaped, multi-colored or tan colored, which continue to grow in size over time. Orange Coast Dermatology is an advanced skin care practice providing aesthetic treatment for benign moles and guidance for patients with suspected melanoma. Orange Coast provides various treatments to patients in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, CA, and surrounding locations.
Atypical Mole Syndrome
Some people may be excessively affected by both normal and atypical moles. The dermatologist may classify them as having atypical mole syndrome. These individuals are at a very high risk of developing melanoma. People with this syndrome will usually present the following characteristics:
- Having a large number of moles, probably a hundred or more.
- One or more moles is 8 mm or larger in diameter.
- One or more moles appear atypical.
People with familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome (FAMMM) are at an exceptionally high risk of developing melanoma. These people will also have one or more close relatives with a history of melanoma. It is advisable to check the skin every few months to detect any irregular spots, which appear abnormal. Orange Coast Dermatology is a premier practice and medical spa providing advanced skin care solutions to patients in Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, CA, and nearby areas.
The Appearance of a Common Mole
A common mole is generally smaller than 5 mm in width. It is round or oval shaped, has a smooth surface with a distinct edge. In many cases, it may be dome-shaped. The color of a common mole is usually pink, brown or tan, and it is an even color. Darker moles will usually occur in patients with dark skin.
Actinic keratosis is a commonly seen pre-cancerous growth that occurs on the face, scalp, forearms, or hands. It appears like a rough, red or pink colored patch, which may be scaly or itchy. Dermatologists recommend that these growths should be removed because five to 10 percent of them may become cancerous at some point.
Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma normally appears as a red or pink colored patch that may scab or bleed. It may seem to heal but will return persistently. It is caused by sun damage and usually found on the face. If diagnosed early, this cancer is easier to treat. Squamous cell carcinoma appears as a thick growth that can peel and bleed, and looks more like a wart. It often shows on the body, legs, or hands. For for information about Orange County Dermatology Clinical and Medical Spa treatments and procedures please contact us at our offices in Mission Viejo: 949.888.8500 | Rancho Santa Margarita: 949.888.8500