Atypical Moles

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Dysplastic Nevus (Atypical Moles)

We are experts in the evaluation of pigmented growths.  We regularly have individuals come into our office saying they have noticed a weird mole or an atypical mole (nevus) appearing on their skin.

An atypical mole, also known as dysplastic nevus, is different than the common mole and melanoma.  It is benign, but does pose a higher risk for melanoma to develop if you have a lot.  Our dermatology services are conducted with compassion and integrity.  When you come to our office you can expect to be treated with respect and care

How are atypical moles different than a common mole?

  • More irregular in shape than a common mole; may have jagged edges.
  • May be larger - bigger than a pencil eraser.
  • Uneven color.  May have dark brown center and lighter edges.
  • If you have a lot of them, the risk of developing melanoma is higher.
  • They appear more on sun-exposed skin, although they may appear anywhere.

If you have any atypical moles keep them out of the sun as much as possible.  They can be either hereditary or caused by sun exposure.  Check them often to see if they change in color, size, shape, texture, become hard, itch, or bleed.

Most atypical moles don’t turn into
melanoma.  However, the more you have, the higher the risk.  If you have family history of melanoma and have many atypical moles, we recommend receiving periodic examinations so we can detect any skin cancer  that may develop early before it has a chance to spread to other areas in the body.

Visit us at our Mountain Pine Dermatology Meridian, Caldwell, Mountain Home, Emmett, or Baker City offices if you notice any atypical moles appearing on your body.  We will conduct a thorough examination and document all of your moles.  At your next examination we can then compare all of the moles.  We can see clearly if there are any new ones, or if any have changed in size, shape, or color.  Atypical moles are graded as mildly, moderate, or severely dysplastic nevus.  We will usually remove the severely atypical moles by excision because of higher rates of transformation to melanoma if left untreated.

Call us at 208-898-7467

to schedule your consultation at an office near you. Besides our main office in Meridian, we have offices in Emmett, Caldwell, Mountain Home, and Baker City, OR.
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