An atypical mole is an unusual-looking mole that is technically benign, or noncancerous. Also known as dysplastic nevus, it can resemble melanoma and may increase your risk of developing melanoma. The higher number of atypical moles a patient has, the higher their risk of melanoma. For this reason, although most atypical moles remain benign, it is important to see a dermatologist if you have discovered a suspicious-looking mole on your skin.
Patient who are most at risk of atypical moles are those with light hair and eyes, freckles, a family history of skin cancer, sensitivity to the sun, repeated sun burn, or several existing moles. Patients who have a high enough number of normal and atypical moles may have atypical mole syndrome if they meet the following criteria:
- 100 or more moles
- 1 or more moles that are 1/3 inch or more wide
- 1 or more atypical moles
You can take precautions against atypical moles by knowing your skin. Perform a full self-exam at least once a month using a mirror and a good light source, and seek assistance from family members if needed. If you encounter a skin growth that does not appear normal, we encourage you to visit Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists for a second opinion from Dr. Michael J. Messina and our providers. Prompt medical attention can treat an atypical mole before it develops into something more serious.
We invite you to contact our office at 760-773-6616 for more information about treating atypical moles in Palm Desert, California, or click here to read on: