How your dermatologist in McKinney, TX, can help prevent skin cancer
Moles are usually nothing to worry about, but moles can also be a warning sign of skin cancer. You need to know what to look for when you examine your moles. Dr. James Ralston at the Dermatology Center of McKinney in McKinney, TX, provides comprehensive skincare services including mole removal, to help prevent skin cancer.
Everyone has moles. They are caused by melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for skin color, clumping together. So, when should you be concerned about a mole?
Do a self-check of your moles regularly and look out for moles that are:
- Large–over 6 millimeters in diameter
- Asymmetrical–with an irregular shape
- Poorly defined–with ragged borders
- New–growing back after previous removal
You should also take note of any moles that itch, burn, or are painful. Bleeding or oozing are additional warning signs you mole may be cancerous.
If you notice any moles with the characteristics listed above, you need to visit your dermatologist.
During your appointment, your dermatologist will perform an examination of your moles. Tissue samples may be taken and sent for a biopsy. A biopsy is an important tool to determine whether skin cells are undergoing changes which are precancerous or cancerous.
Your dermatologist may recommend complete removal of a mole. This can be accomplished using several methods, including:
Shaving, which is a perfect choice for small moles. The procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t require sutures.
Punching, using an instrument to completely remove the mole. This technique is used on larger moles and will require a few sutures.
MOHS surgery, using a microscope. For this procedure, the mole is removed one layer at a time and viewed under a microscope to look for cellular changes.
To learn more about moles and when to visit your dermatologist for mole removal call Dr. James Ralston at the Dermatology Center of McKinney in McKinney, TX. You can reach him in the office by calling (972) 548-0333, so call now.