Skin Cancer & Moles

Learn about moles and skin cancer from board-certified dermatologist Ahmet Altiner in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Do moles turn into skin cancer? This is a common question that I get, and it's a very difficult question to answer. Most moles just will go through a regular, expected growth rate. They start off round and flat. As we get older, they will start losing their color and start to get slowly elevated, and by the time we're 60 and above, most of our moles will be colorless and sticking up.

However, it's important to know that in certain instances, moles can turn into skin cancer. Recent studies have shown that in about one-third of the time, melanoma can arise from an existing mole. This is rare, but it can happen. The best way to examine these is to look at the ugly duckling. The mole that does not look like anything else on your body.

Some people have moles that are always round. Some people have moles with two colors. Some people have moles that are round and some people have moles that are more triangular. That is okay. If you have a mole that does not look like anything else or it's changing, that's when you need to see a dermatologist to get a skin biopsy.

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