What Are Birthmarks and Moles?
A birthmark is a spot on the skin that varies in shape, size, color, and texture. Appearing anywhere on the body, birthmarks typically appear at birth or shortly thereafter. While typically harmless, birthmarks can sometimes be a sign of an underlying condition so babies with birthmarks should have them checked out as soon as they appear. For adults, birthmarks can cause embarrassment or self-consciousness due to their size and where they're located. A mole is a type of birthmark that appears as a growth on the skin. Moles can appear in a variety of shades and can either appear singularly or in a group of other moles. While mostly associated as being a bump on the skin, they can be flat. Oftentimes, moles are harmless, but they can develop into cancer. For Boston, Needham, and Sherbon, MA area residents that have birthmarks and moles, make an appointment at Skin Center Boston to have them checked out.
What Causes Birthmarks and Moles?
While there is no clear cause of birthmarks, they tend to develop more on babies that are born prematurely, an underweight baby, or babies that were born in sets, such as twins or triplets. In others, birthmarks can be caused when a blood vessel does not develop correctly. Moles are most often formed when cells underneath the skin grow in bundles rather than spreading out throughout the skin. These bundles of cells will typically darken after sun exposure, during teen years, or while a woman is pregnant. Both are typically painless and some may fade over time. However, it is important to have moles and birthmarks checked out occasionally. This can be done at Skin Center Boston in our Boston, MA office.
Schedule Your Mole or Birthmark Check
Birthmarks and moles are often harmless, but some can be unattractive, odd in appearance, develop later in life, or begin to cause pain. In these cases, contact dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doktor to schedule an appointment to check your birthmark or mole. Sometimes, moles can turn cancerous so it's important to have regular checkups on these, even if they appear harmless. Contact Skin Center Boston to schedule your exam today.
When Should A Birthmark or Mole Be Checked by A Doctor?
Dr. Doktor recommends that patients watch for any changes and get mole checks often. By using the ABCDE test to determine whether a mole could be cancerous, you can easily recognize what to look for.
- Asymmetry: They are not even or equal in dimensions when cut in half
- Border: They have irregular or scalloped borders
- Color: They begin to change color or have an abnormal color
- Diameter: They are larger than 6mm in diameter
- Evolving: They begin to evolve (grow or change) in size, height, color, or shape
How are Birthmarks and Moles Treated?
Most birthmarks and moles don't need treatment, but they should be periodically checked by a skilled dermatologist, like Dr. Vladyslava Doktor, to ensure they are still harmless. If a mole develops in adulthood, it should be checked out as soon as possible as it could be malignant. If a birthmark becomes painful, starts growing, bleeds, or changes in color, it should be checked out immediately. In these situations, Dr. Doktor will review the birthmarks and moles to determine if they need to be removed. If the mole or birthmark does need to be removed, it will likely be removed surgically for biopsy and lab analysis. The procedure used will likely depend on the type of birthmark or mole.
"Absolutely wonderful experience! Office space is gorgeous and very clean, personnel is super helpful and professional. Doctor is very knowledgeable, she was very thorough with my mole body check, even looked in between my toes, not many doctors do that! Will be coming back for sure. Appointment was easy to schedule and did not have to wait 2 months. Very happy i was introduced to this practice by a friend."- E.H. / Google / Mar 31, 2021