Are atypical moles dangerous?

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Should I be worried about an atypical mole?

Yes. An atypical mole that is itching, painful, swelling, crusting or oozing should be checked immediately by a dermatologist or other physician experienced with skin disorders.

What percent of atypical moles become melanoma?

One study found that the risk of an atypical mole turning into melanoma over an individual’s lifetime is less than 0.1% for both men and women.

Is it normal to have atypical moles?

Atypical moles, also called dysplastic moles, are very common. An estimated one out of every 10 Americans has at least one atypical mole. These moles are larger than common moles, with borders that are irregular and poorly defined.

Should all atypical moles be removed?

Atypical moles should be removed when they have features suggestive of malignant transformation. Elliptical excision is the preferred removal technique. Removing all atypical moles is neither necessary nor cost effective.

Can a mole I’ve had since birth turn cancerous?

Can a Non-Malignant Mole Become Cancerous? The short answer is yes. For adults, new moles and sudden changes to existing moles can be a sign of melanoma.

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How can you tell the difference between atypical moles and melanoma?

Atypical moles are often larger than other nevi (> 6 mm diameter) and primarily round (unlike many melanomas) but with indistinct borders and mild asymmetry. In contrast, melanomas have greater irregularity of color and may have areas that are red, blue, whitish, or depigmented with a scarred appearance.

How long does melanoma take to spread?

Melanoma can grow very quickly. It can become life-threatening in as little as 6 weeks and, if untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma can appear on skin not normally exposed to the sun. Nodular melanoma is a highly dangerous form of melanoma that looks different from common melanomas.

Can you have melanoma for years and not know?

How long can you have melanoma and not know it? It depends on the type of melanoma. For example, nodular melanoma grows rapidly over a matter of weeks, while a radial melanoma can slowly spread over the span of a decade. Like a cavity, a melanoma may grow for years before producing any significant symptoms.

Should dysplastic nevus be removed?

Dysplastic nevi can be classified as mild, moderate or severe. Mild is closer to benign, while moderate to severe is closer to melanoma. When diagnosed, most dermatologists will recommend that severe dysplastic nevi be removed as a precaution.

How can you tell if a mole is precancerous?

What Are the Signs of a Precancerous Mole?

  1. Asymmetry. A common mole is typically symmetrical. …
  2. Border. The borders of precancerous moles are often blurred. …
  3. Color. Whereas a common mole is one color, a precancerous mole is often a mixture of various colors like brown, black, red, or blue.
  4. Diameter. …
  5. Enlarging.
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Can atypical moles turn into melanoma?

Some atypical (as well as common) moles can change into melanoma, but most atypical moles will never change to cancer. In fact, melanoma is more likely to develop as a new, unusual spot on normal skin, unrelated to moles.