It’s important to get any bothersome growths on your skin evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out skin cancer. While many growths are benign and can be easily identified, the best way to determine if a growth is harmless is to have it evaluated. Common growths can include moles, cysts, skin tags, lipomas, keratoses, etc.
Growth is primarily influenced by genetic factors, but environmental factors such as nutrition, physical activity, and exposure to certain hormones can also play a role in determining an individual’s growth rate.
We recommend that everyone comes in for a full skin examination for skin cancer surveillance annually. However, if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, you may need to have full skin examinations more frequently. If you have a growth that is concerning you or you simply want it removed, you can make an appointment with one of our dermatologists, such as Dr. Lily, anytime, regardless of when your last full skin check was.
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of skin cancer, such as growths that are changing in color, size, or texture, bleeding without any trauma to the site of the growth, crusting, and growths that do not look like any other growths on your body or are rapidly growing in size. Moles can also change, and we recommend that you look out for the ABCDE’s of melanoma, which are asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving.
If a mole is asymmetrical, has an uneven border, has a variety of colors, is larger than ¼ inch or 6 mm in diameter, or is evolving in any way, it’s important to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to have it evaluated. Any change in size, shape, color, elevation, or any other trait, or a new symptom such as bleeding, itching, or crusting, suggests that the mole could be a skin cancer.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dermatologists.