Is It Skin Cancer? How to Tell a Harmless Mole from a Melanoma

(7 Photos)

Stacey Colino on Jun 3, 2013 at 3:56PM

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Don't Make a Mountain Out of a Mole

Courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation

a Stacey Colino on Jun 18, 2010 at 4:01PM

A mole is simply a cluster of pigmented cells, creating a spot that can be flesh-colored, pink or very dark brown. Some moles are raised off the skin’s surface, and some sprout hairs, but neither is a bad sign in itself. Moles can usually be left alone but should be monitored for changes. If a mole appears suspicious (based on the ABCDE characteristics) or it becomes easily irritated, your dermatologist can numb the skin and remove it by cutting or shaving it off, explains Dr. Day. It will often be sent for evaluation to make sure it’s normal.

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