Posts for tag: Moles
Should you be scheduling a checkup with a dermatologist soon?
All of us have moles on our bodies, so it’s important that everyone keeps an eye on them for any warning signs that may be trying to tell you that you have skin cancer. So, how can you tell whether a mole requires medical attention from our Andover, MA, dermatologist Dr. Alan Rockoff?
If You See Something Say Something
It’s important that you are examining your skin regularly so that you can pinpoint any changes to a preexisting mole as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to turn to our Andover, MA, skin doctor if you notice any changes, as this could be an early warning sign. Also, if you are someone who has a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of moles or freckles you may want to consider getting regular professional skin cancer screening.
What to Look Out For
When it comes to examining your skin it’s important to understand what you should be looking for. When it comes to pinpointing skin cancer just remember your ABCDEs:
Asymmetry: You should be able to draw an imaginary line down the center of the mole and both sides should look identical in shape, size and color. If they don’t this could be a sign of skin cancer.
Border: A healthy mole has a clearly defined and smooth border while cancerous growths tend to have borders that are jagged, blurred or poorly defined.
Color: While moles may be different shades of brown it’s important to note that healthy moles are only one color while cancerous moles often contain more than one color. If you notice pink, white, red, or blue in the mole have it checked out right away.
Diameter: Most moles are under 6mm in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser); however, melanoma is often much larger than 6mm.
Evolving: Moles should stay relatively the same throughout your lifetime. If they begin to change, or if you notice new moles or growth developing, it’s a good time to have them checked out.
Along with these changes, if you notice a growth or mole that is bleeding, crusted over, oozing, or won’t heal then you should also contact your dermatologist right away.
If you are dealing with a suspicious growth or mole on the skin it’s better to play it safe and have it checked out. Call The Rockoff Dermatology Center in Andover or Brookline, MA, today to schedule a consultation with us.
You wish you had perfect skin. Frankly, few people do. Even supermodels need help in keeping smooth, intact skin. Moles and warts, two common benign skin lesions, often require inspection and removal by your dermatologists in Andover and Brookline, MA, Dr. Alan Rockoff and Dr. Katherine Fening. At the Rockoff Dermatology Center, you can find your healthiest and most attractive skin.
What is a mole?
It's a flat, brown, blue, black, or flesh-colored lesion. Often, moles appear on the face, arms, or back, and typically, they are round, measuring no larger than a pencil eraser.
Most moles are benign--that is, non-cancerous. However, because of sun exposure, some moles may become malignant. In fact, 90 percent of skin cancers come from excessive sun exposure, says The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Should moles concern you? Well, your Andover and Brookline dermatologist likes patients to check their skin at home, including moles and other skin spots, monthly--particularly after age 40. Also, Dr. Rockoff and Dr. Fening ask patients to come to the office yearly for an eyes-on inspection their skin. These checks help catch cancers early while they are small and treatable.
If you wish to have a mole removed, your dermatologist employs several in-office techniques to comfortably and quickly remove it. Procedures include electrical cautery ("burning" off the mole with electrical current) or surgically shaving the mole flush with the rest of the skin.
Additionally, your skin doctors stress that watchfulness guards you against cancerous skin moles. So apply the ABCDEs of mole inspection and report changes right away. Look for:
- Asymmetry (shape should be consistent top to bottom and right to left)
- Borders (they should be smooth, not scalloped)
- Color (multi-colored moles or ones which change in color could be trouble)
- Diameter (growth to larger than a pencil top eraser is a danger sign)
- Evolving (report any changes in shape)
What is a wart?
It's a benign skin growth, uneven in texture and often occurring on the hands and the soles of the feet (plantar warts). Caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), warts can be unsightly and can easily spread to other parts of the body and to other people, too. HPV typically invades through breaks in the skin as in the areas around the nails.
Warts are easy to treat. Many over-the-counter liquids and patches which contain salicylic acid that slowly dissolves the lesions when applied as directed. Also, your skin doctor offers cryosurgery (freezing) with liquid nitrogen and surgical excision for sizable warts. You and your dermatologist will decide what course of treatment is best for you.
That's what you'll receive at The Rockoff Dermatology Center. If you have a worrisome mole or annoying warts, please call one of our offices for an appointment. Phone (617) 731-2390 in Brookline, and call (978) 475-9230 for the Andover location.
Do you have a suspicious-looking mole? Then find out the warning signs of skin cancer.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. Of course, a lot of people don’t think skin cancer will happen to them, but if a mole has started to change or look out of place, our Brookline and Andover, MA, dermatologists Dr. Alan Rockoff and Dr. Katherine Fening tell you what to be on the lookout for when it comes to your changing skin.
What are some signs of skin cancer?
Even a mole that you’ve had your whole life can turn into melanoma, a serious and potentially life-threatening skin cancer. While many moles often won’t turn into cancer, if you spend a lot of time in the sun (perhaps you work outdoors), if you don’t wear sunscreen or if you’ve ever had a bad sunburn, then you may be at an increased risk of developing melanoma.
You should always call your Brookline and Andover skin doctor right away if you notice any of these changes to your moles:
- Color changes or the presence of more than one color in your moles
- Itching or scaling
- An increase in size or a change in its shape
- Blurry or undefined edges
- A lump in the mole
How can I prevent skin cancer?
One of the best ways to protect your skin from skin cancer is by wearing sunscreen everyday; unfortunately, this habit it not something that many people adopt. In fact, according to a 2013 survey conducted by the CDC, they found that only 14.3 percent of men and 29.9 percent of women used sunscreen regularly.
Here’s how to ensure that you are getting the most from wearing sunscreen:
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is also water-resistant
- Look for sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30
- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen about 15 minutes before going outside
- Apply sunscreen to all areas of exposed skin on the face or body
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or right after sweating or swimming
If you have noticed changes to one or more of your moles, it’s always best to play it safe rather than sorry and schedule an appointment with The Rockoff Dermatology Center in Brookline and Andover, MA. The sooner you seek treatment the better.