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The Doctors tackles your most embarrassing questions starting with the letter M!
The Doctors offer solutions for your major "mini" problems.
Jill, 43, has had a large mole on her face for as long as she can remember and would like to get rid of the M-barrassing growth.
"Like everything else in medicine, [moles] are about history," plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says. "The simple fact that Jill has had this so long [means] it's most likely benign."
Moles occur when cells grow in clusters rather than being spread throughout the skin, and can occur as different shapes, sizes and colors. To remove a mole, it can be excised or shaved. Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban and Dr. Ordon decide to shave Jill's mole.
"We're going to remove the mole on the same plane as the skin so it will heal absolutely flat," Dr. Shamban explains. "If you were actually to cut it out and stitch it, sometimes there's a higher risk of a scar forming."
Most moles, freckles and beauty spots on your skin are normal and harmless. However, over time, they can change and become malignant, or cancerous, so it is important to stay vigilant about the appearance of your skin. Early detection is the key to surviving any cancer, and skin cancer is no exception.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It begins as a tumor in the melanocyte cells, which produce melanin, a pigment found in skin, hair and eyes.
Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
• Wear a hat when in the sun
• Wear sunglasses when in the sun
• Wear protective clothing when possible
• Always wear sunscreen, regardless of the season
• Be sure to wear at least SPF 15 sunscreen on the body and SPF 30 on the face
• Perform a monthly skin self-exam
• Visit the dermatologist once a year for a clinical exam
Know Your Moles: The ABCDE Warning Signs of Melanoma
See your doctor if you notice any of the following:
• Asymmetry — If you draw a line down your mole, and one side is larger than the other. A mole should be symmetrical.
• Border — If the borders are uneven, scalloped or notched. A mole should be nice, even and smooth.
• Color — If your mole is variegated, or if there are various shades of brown, tan, black or red in the mole. A mole should be one color.
• Diameter — If your mole is bigger than an eraser point on a pencil. Technically, moles can be all sizes.
• Evolving — If your mole starts to change size, color or elevation.
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