Beneath the Surface

Dive Deeper With Our Dermatology Blog

Why Mole Day Isn’t Just for Chemists

Anyone who took at least an introductory chemistry class is probably familiar with Mole Day. For me, that always meant a party and no homework (based on my high school chem class); however, since I started working for an online dermatology company, Mole Day has taken on a new meaning.

Moles and Melanoma

Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can grow in or near moles. Often, the first sign of melanoma is a change in a mole or a new mole on your skin. I know that sounds terrifying, but you don’t need to be overly worried about your moles. They are common, and most adults have an average of 10-40 moles on their skin. However, it is important to examine your skin and track any changes.

Dermatologist examines a mole of male patient

Personally, I love this paper from the American Academy of Dermatology. Unfortunately, people with fair/light skin, like me, tend to have more moles. With this paper, not only can I mark where moles are located, but I also have a reminder of the ABCDE’s (warning signs) of melanoma to compare moles to:

  • Asymmetry – one half unlike the other half
  • Border – irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
  • Color – varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue
  • Diameter – while melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the width of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller
  • Evolving – a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends performing a skin exam at least once a year. An easy to remember rule would be to check your birthday suit on your birthday. Or, check your moles on Mole Day.

Have a Mole Checked Online, Anytime

If you have a mole you are concerned about, you can submit photos through DermatologistOnCall for a quick spot check. For dermatologists, looking at digital photos uploaded by online patients mimics what they’ve already experienced during their education and training to become a dermatologist. Knowing how to analyze and diagnose conditions based on images is very familiar to them.

skincare, online dermatology, dermatologist

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