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Health Tip: When to Have Moles Checked by a Medical Professional

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Everyone knows that when skin moles change in color, shape, or texture, you should have them checked by a medical professional. The doctor may say, “When a mole looks suspicious, have it checked.”

But what does “suspicious” mean? And what are you or a doctor looking for when checking moles for changes?

If you have a sore that doesn’t seem to be healing, if a mole grows, or changes from pale to dark in color, or if an abnormally shaped (not circular) mole appears to change, get in to see a doctor. As suggested by a LifeScript.com article, if the doctor doesn’t have any appointments available, tell the nurse that you have a suspicious spot that you would like to get checked out. They should be able to get you in relatively quickly.

When you or a doctor is checking a mole the following should be considered, as recommended by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery:
A – asymmetrical or uneven shape. One half of the mole is different from the other half.
B – irregular border. Edges may be ragged or blurred.
C – changes in color, or uneven color. The mole may be brown, red, tan, or black.
D – diameter. The mole is large – one-fourth inch or bigger.
E – evolving. Report any change in a mole’s size, shape, elevation or feel.

Do you have a question about skin conditions? Check out EmpowHER’s pages. Sign-up, post a question, share your story, connect with other women in our groups and community, and feel EmpowHERed!

LifeScript.com: 13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Melanoma
EmpowHER: Skin Cancer: Don’t Be Scared, Be Well Informed, Take Our Quiz

Christine Jeffries is a writer/editor for work and at heart, and lives in a home of testosterone with her husband and two sons. Christine is interested in women’s health and promoting strong women.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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