Atypical or dysplastic moles are generally larger than normal moles, variable in color, and have irregular borders compared to regular moles. Multiple atypical moles on the skin represent an increased risk for melanoma in that individual.
A yearly exam is recommended for persons with a family or personal history of atypical moles.
It is common for unusual, new or changing moles to be biopsied for microscopic evaluation.
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Examining Moles For Abnormality
When examining moles, consider the following “ABCDE” features:
- Asymmetry – One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border irregularity –ragged, notched or blurred borders instead of smooth round borders.
- Color – The pigmentation/color of the mole is not uniform.
- Diameter – moles larger than a pencil eraser (6mm) are more likely to be atypical.
- Evolution or change. It is not common to develop moles as an adult. Moles should not change (evolve) appearance.
- New itching or bleeding is also a warning sign that a mole may be abnormal.
**Moles that meet some or all of these criteria should be checked by a dermatologist.**
Meet Our Providers
Our providers continue to maintain the highest levels of accreditation and progressive ongoing education to learn and understand the latest developments in medical dermatology. Each provider's education and bio can be viewed below.
Melanie Kuechle, MD
Dr. Kuechle is a native of Texas and a graduate of Baylor University College of Medicine. She completed her dermatology residency at...
Janet M. Trowbridge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Trowbridge is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of the New York University Schools of Medicine and...