When you should have a mole checked out

When you should have a mole checked out

Have you ever noticed a mole on your body and wondered if you should get it checked out?

A normal mole is usually even colored and is brown, tan, or black, according to Molly Ireland, a nurse practitioner at Aurora Family Medicine in Oshkosh.

Moles can be flat, raised, round or oval. Ireland said it is important to get a mole checked out if it is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape, or color.

“Other signs to look out for are sores that do not heal, are bleeding, itching, or are painful. Utilize the help of family and friends to monitor spots on your back or areas that are not easy to see yourself,” Ireland said.

Ireland said an easy way to determine if a mole is concerning is by using ABCDE:

  • A is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not look like the other
  • B is for Border: Watch out for edges that are irregular
  • C is for Color: Pay attention to a mole that is not the same color throughout
  • D is for Diameter: Look out for a spot that is greater than 6 mm in size (about the size of a pencil eraser)
  • E is for Evolving: Monitor a spot that is changing in color, size, or shape

If you are ever concerned about a mole, get it checked out, Ireland said.

“Annual physical exams with your primary care provider are a great opportunity to bring up concerns about skin,” she said.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in IllinoisLook here if you live in Wisconsin.

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  1. Gloria Picchetti September 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm · Reply

    Getting a mole examined and getting a biopsy and having it removed is so simple!

  2. Very good article. Make sure you get a dermatologist who is certified with the MOHS procedure if your biopsy comes back positive.

  3. My friend was diagnosed with melanoma completely accidentally. Her mole was round, with regular borders, the same color, normal size and was not changing for years. Basically, none of the ABCDE criteria was met. Nonetheless, melanoma. So make annual appointment with your dermatologists.

About the Author

Brittany Lewis
Brittany Lewis

Brittany Lewis is a media relations coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health. She previously worked as a reporter at TV stations around the Midwest, including Milwaukee. She studied at DePaul University where she majored in Journalism and Public Relations. Brittany enjoys traveling, hanging out by Lake Michigan, trying new restaurants and spending time with friends and family.