Chances are, you probably have at least one mole somewhere on your body. While moles are completely normal and often harmless, some can be a sign of something more serious like skin cancer. For suspicious or unwanted moles, you might decide to have them partially removed for testing, or removed completely. There are certain cases in which you should consider mole removal.
You are at a Higher Risk for Skin Cancer
Those at a higher risk of skin cancer should have moles checked and tested on a more regular basis. Fair skin, regular exposure to the sun, use of tanning beds, or a family history of skin cancer can all increase your risk. Having regular skin cancer screenings can help check for suspicious moles that are not easily visible to you.
You Notice an ABCDE Sign of Skin Cancer
The ABCDEs can be used when checking your body for signs of melanoma skin cancer. These signs include asymmetry, border irregularity, color (not uniform), diameter (larger than 6mm), and evolution (changes in shape, size, or color). While these signs don’t always mean you have skin cancer, you should schedule an appointment to have them checked and tested to be sure. If you notice a suspicious mole, it is better to receive treatment right away to catch skin cancer in its earliest stage and give you some peace of mind.
The Appearance is Bothersome
Moles aren’t just removed to reduce your risk of cancer, they can be removed for cosmetic purposes. If you have a mole in a very visible location that is bothering you or even making you feel self-conscious, you might choose to have it removed. The mole can still be tested if there is any concern of skin cancer.