5 Signs You Should Have Your Mole Checked by a Dermatologist

5 Signs You Should Have Your Mole Checked by a Dermatologist

Many people check their skin at least once a month to catch skin cancer early. During regular skin checks, you may notice some new moles or spots – but when do they become a real concern? Use the “ABCDE” method to help remember five key signs that you should get in touch with a dermatologist.

1. “A” for Asymmetry

Asymmetry occurs when half of the mole’s shape does not match the other half. If the mole is asymmetrical, it’s time to make a dermatology appointment. 

2. B for “Border”

Unproblematic moles feature even, smooth borders. Get in touch with medical dermatology services in Southampton, PA, if the border of a mole is blurred, ragged, scalloped, notched, or uneven. 

3. C for “Color”

Multiple colors could signal a problem. If a skin inspection turns up moles, patches, or spots that are white, gray, blue, or red, it could signal deeper issues. Varying shades of tan, brown, and black can also be concerning.

4. D for “Diameter” or “Dark”

If you self-inspect your skin often, it’s likely that you know what is normal for you and your body. A mole or spot that has grown could signal something warranting professional inspection.

Likewise, a spot larger than about a quarter inch in diameter (6 millimeters or the size of a pencil eraser) should be checked out.

D can stand for “dark” as well. Spots that are darker than others could be a problem as could colorless lesions. Colorless spots are rare but should not be ignored.

5. E for “Evolving”

Some moles or skin spots undergo changes in appearance, shape, color, or size. Textures may evolve too and become lumpy or hard.

Your skin may change in that it has a mole that was not there previously. Potentially cancerous lesions may not be painful but could bleed, crust, ooze, or itch.

The Ugly Duckling Method 

The “Ugly Duckling” method suits some people better than “ABCDE.” For ugly duckling, you follow one principle: The vast majority of moles on your skin look like one another. Melanomas do not. If a mole is darker, lighter, or somehow odd compared with your other moles, get in touch with a dermatologist.

Similarly, if you have just one mole with no other moles surrounding it, that could be an ugly duckling.

Make an Appointment Today

To catch any early signs of skin cancer, it’s vital to perform your skin self-exams in a well-lit room with a full-length mirror. Use a handheld mirror for hard-to-see areas. A trusted partner can be a great resource for these areas, too. Check areas such as your scalp, face, neck, hands, feet, arms, chest, under your breasts, in between your fingers and toes, and under your fingernails and toenails.

Contact Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists today for mole removal in Southampton, PA if you believe you have A, B, C, D, and/or E moles or an ugly duckling. It’s important to act as quickly as possible since early treatment is key for skin cancer cases. 

SkinIO Total Body Photography: What You Should Know 

SkinIO Total Body Photography Everything You Need To Know

Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, it is essential that you take care of it and have your concerns checked out. When you visit the dermatologist, you might be surprised by the different services they offer and the technology that is available to help them evaluate your skin conditions. One of the more popular services found in many dermatologist offices today is total body photography which takes pictures of your skin over your entire body so that it can be assessed accurately.

What is Total Body Photography?

During this process, all of your skin goes through an examination, and each mole, skin tag, and other lesion is documented. After being documented, your body is pictured so that there is proof for the dermatologist to review and assess.

Benefits of Having Your Body Photographed

If you are having reservations about having your body photographed, keep in mind that there are several benefits that come from this process, and could be essential to your overall health.

  • Early skin cancer detection
  • Mark changes between appointments
  • Have an accurate point of reference

Being able to detect skin cancer early is a concern that many patients have when they visit the dermatologist. Being able to capture it in its early stages allows dermatologists to treat it before it spreads and becomes more severe. The images that are generated during total body photography give your team the information they need to further investigate these markings and make assessments.

Being able to identify changes between appointments will build a point of reference for your dermatologist and maintain a steady medical history of your skin. This isn’t any different from visiting your primary care physician and undergoing routine lab work to establish a medical history.

Growing Popularity of Total Body Photography

Because this process has been so successful in identifying spots of potential skin cancer in patients early on, it has become a growing service offered by many dermatologists in Pennsylvania and across the country. It also helps that this is an easy process, taking less than 15 minutes and the images are stored securely.

Are You in Need of Dermatology Services?

If you are looking for dermatology services in Bucks County, PA, contact Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists today for more information. Our services are not limited to just Buck County, however. We also offer a dermatologist for skin cancer in Montgomery County, PA. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

What to Expect at Your Mole Evaluation

What to Expect at Your Mole Evaluation

Nature’s beauty mark, also known as a mole, may not align with the look or healthy skin you’re after. If you’re not happy with the appearance of a mole, deal with constant skin sensitivity and irritation around the area, or have concerns about the potential for skin cancer, there are several safe and effective mole treatment procedures available. If you’re concerned about a mole for any reason, discussing your options with a dermatologist is the first step.

Seek a Licensed Dermatologist for Advice

There are several reasons that a mole removal may be recommended by a dermatologist. Only a licensed dermatologist can provide the proper assessment. If you have any questions or concerns about any moles on your body, our licensed dermatologist in Southampton can provide you with a better understanding and diagnosis. 

Although many moles are not cancerous, there is a chance that moles can have abnormal features which can be potentially harmful. If a skin lesion is pigmented and shows unusual cells, your dermatologist will discuss the best treatment plan for you. If you have a family history of skin cancer or the appearance of any warning signs, an evaluation by a dermatologist is highly recommended. 

Mole Examination & Treatment Options

Several tell-tale signs indicate if a mole has become a cause for concern. During an examination, your skin provider will consider many important skin health factors; personal history, family history, and visual skin inspection. If deemed necessary, a skin biopsy can be performed to determine more detailed information on a specific lesion. 

Your dermatologist will clearly explain what to look for and when it may be a good idea to consider treatment. If your mole or the skin around the area regularly experiences swelling, irritation, or causes general discomfort, these may be early signs that there is a problem. Other things to look out for when evaluating your mole include: 

  • Any Size Changes
  • Color Changes
  • Itching, Bleeding or Oozing
  • Texture Changes
  • Appearance of New Moles
  • & More Signs a Dermatologist can Identify

If mole removal is recommended by your provider, most removal procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and involve minimally invasive techniques. Depending on the size, location, and risk factors, there are three primary removal options. Your dermatologist will help determine which is best for your mole.

If you’re concerned about a mole for any reason, it’s important to seek the guidance of a licensed dermatologist as soon as possible. 

5 Signs You Might Need a Skin Cancer Screening

5 Signs You Might Need a Skin Cancer Screening

Unlike most cancers, skin cancer is, for the most part, very visible on your skin.  This makes it easy to detect, which in turn means it’s quicker to treat.  Malignancies may sometimes be difficult to differentiate from moles, cuts, cysts, and other relatively benign skin conditions.  The primary difference is that they are atypical for your skin type, and have features under dermoscopy and pathology that confirm they are cancerous.

Unusual Dark Spots

This can be a sign of a specific type of skin cancer called ‘melanoma’, which is often mistaken for a mole.  To tell the difference dermatologists use the ABCDEs.  First, they will be asymmetrical, larger on one side than the other.  They have an irregular or poorly defined border instead of being smooth and round.  They are made of varying colors such as brown and blue. They may have evolving shapes, sizes, and colors as well.

Unusual Pink Patches

These can be a sign of either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, two other types of skin cancers.  Occasional redness and itching is normal, but one of the earliest warning signs for these two types of cancer is dry, rough, sometimes raised patches of skin that are usually red but can also be pink, brown, or match your skin tone.  Squamous carcinoma can also develop in the mouth and genitals.  They are often accompanied by sensitivity, itchiness, and even bleeding.  Like melanoma, the spots for these cancers will also grow and change over time.

Unusual Nails

Dark lines, either thick or thin, that run along the length of a toenail or fingernail are indicators of melanoma.  Dark streaks around or beneath the nail can be a harmless wart or some blood underneath the skin. But if they don’t go away, even after years, you should seek out medical dermatology in services Bucks County immediately.  Other nail conditions can be indicators of other underlying conditions like psoriasis or fungal infection, as well as internal illnesses like heart or kidney disease. 

Unusual Sores

Cuts, scrapes, and lacerations are easy to spot, though the cause may not be as obvious.  The thing that makes signs of cancer stand out is that these spots won’t heal, even after extended periods of time.  Sometimes they do heal and then return without explanation.  It may bleed, ooze, or crust over. Often a patient believes they have a pimple that just won’t go away. 

Unusual Bumps

They’re most often mistaken for acne, cysts, moles, scars, warts, age spots, harmless growths, and freckles.  They can be red, brown, or match your skin tone so the color alone is not reliable.  This makes them very easy to miss, and you may need skin cancer treatment in Southampton, PA as a result.  Cancerous areas can usually be determined by the texture and appearance of the area, making it stand out from the rest of your skin.

Incredible Service

If you suspect you have early-stage skin cancer or you’re at high risk for developing it, it’s beneficial to have a Total Body Skin Examination.  Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists offer the best medical dermatology services in Bucks County, and we perform exceptionally thorough examinations for skin cancer.  If we do find signs of it, we will work with you to determine the best possible skin cancer treatment to suit your individual needs while delivering the highest cure rate with the best functional and cosmetic outcomes.  Contact us today by phone or email to schedule your appointment.