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Play it safe with screening of moles at Algonquin dermatology practice
Moles (technically called melanocytic nevi) are a very common skin growth affecting people of all skin types. Almost everyone has at least one mole on their body, and many people have 50 to 100 benign moles. It is important to have moles mapped and checked by a dermatologist at least once a year. Dr. Vikram Khanna urges patients with moles to schedule annual screening at Dermatology Specialists of Illinois, in Algonquin. He also helps patients understand how to check their moles at home, and determine which moles might be of concern.
What causes moles?
Moles are simply skin cells that form in a cluster, rather than being spread out evenly. Melanocytes, the type of cells that make up moles, create the pigment that gives color to skin.
They are usually brown or black, and may appear anywhere on the skin, singly or in clusters. Moles typically show up during the first 30 years of life, then change slowly. They may become raised, a different color, or sprout hair. Some disappear naturally, and others darken with sun exposure.
The importance of screening
While most moles are benign, there are cases in which they should be observed for possible cancer concerns. This kind of cancer is called malignant melanoma, and is very serious. The incidence of melanoma is quite high and increasing every year. If left untreated, it usually becomes fatal. Fortunately, early treatment of melanoma is often simple and results in a cure in most cases.
At an initial skin cancer screening, Dr. Khanna maps the location of moles as a baseline. He also makes note of any suspicious moles to watch closely for future changes.
If you notice changes to a current mole, or discover the appearance of new moles, call Dermatology Specialists of Illinois right away for an appointment in Algonquin. The number is (844) 307-7546.