The most common growths to appear on skin are moles, lesions that form when highly pigmented cells group together. There are several different varieties of moles, each classified by its unique characteristics and location in the skin.

Most people have one or more moles, with one in 100 babies having moles at birth. By the time we reach our thirties and forties, we may have several dozen moles across our body. These growths may be various colors, but should be only one color within a single growth. Moles may also be flat or raised.

Although most of these growths are benign, or non-cancerous, we are advised to monitor the condition of moles closely, noting characteristics such as:

    • Asymmetry, which will make a mole look different on one side than the other
    • Border, which should be regular and defined, not jagged
    • Color, which should be consistent within a singular growth
    • Diameter, which should be smaller than a pencil eraser
    • Evolution, a mole that changes in color, shape, size, or tenderness should be evaluated by our dermatologist.
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Abnormalities within a mole could indicate the presence of cancerous cells. Skin cancer surgery can be highly successful when the condition is treated early. If warning signs appear, it is important to contact our dermatologist right away.

In addition to examining moles, our dermatologist can also identify other common, benign growths and provide treatment for removal when necessary for comfort or cosmetic reasons. Other growths that your dermatologist may identify include:

  • Skin tags, called achrochordons.
  • Dermatofibroma, growths that appear tan or pink and raised. These may be mistaken for moles when they are really scars.
  • Pyogenic granuloma, fleshy nodules that bleed easily and can appear on the face, lips, fingers or other body parts.

Growths on the skin may easily be confused as a sign of skin cancer. Though it is beneficial to become extremely familiar with the various moles and growths on your skin, most of those that develop are quite harmless. To gain peace of mind about your skin health, annual visits with our dermatologist in Arlington and Stafford are recommended.

Patients of Washington Dermatology Consultants benefit from our extensive experience and gentle manner. To keep your skin as healthy and beautiful as possible, contact us for your visit today.