Moles or “nevi” are composed of groups of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. They are important to monitor because of their potential risk for turning into malignant melanoma. People with more moles have an increased risk of melanoma. Most Caucasian adults have about 20 nevi. Dysplastic moles, which are clinically and microscopically atypical appearing, are presumptive precursor lesions of melanoma. Dysplastic moles occur in 30% of patients with primary melanoma and in 6% of their family members. People with a family history of dysplastic nevi or who have numerous atypical appearing moles themselves should be carefully monitored for melanoma. It is important to watch for the warning signs of melanoma and the ABCDE’s of melanoma.
Moles may be removed because they are clinically worrisome or simply for cosmetic purposes. No matter what the reason, we are happy to examine your moles and also to discuss mole removal options.