Moles

Gould-Jacobson Dermatology

Dermatologists located in Menlo Park, CA

After a thorough sin check, the team at Gould-Jacobson Dermatology will perform biopsies and mole removal surgery right in the office, if needed. Menlo Park, California’s leading dermatologists, Elizabeth Gould, MD and Sarah Jacobson, MD offer comprehensive skin checks to evaluate your moles. If you’re noticing moles that are changing shape, color, or size, schedule an evaluation right away. Call or book an appointment online today.

Moles Q & A

What are moles?

Your skin contains specialized cells called melanocytes that are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color. In some cases, melanocytes develop in clusters or clumps, often as a side effect of sun exposure. These clusters are commonly known as moles.

Most men, women, and children have at least 10-40 moles on their skin. Moles can occur anywhere on your body, although they tend to develop on areas like your arms or back that tend to get the most UV exposure, whether from the sun or a tanning bed.

How do I know if a mole is abnormal?

A mole should remain stable in color, shape and size. They tend to develop during childhood and adolescence, and should not change.

Your moles might be abnormal if they:

  • Develop during your adult years
  • Itch or bleed
  • Get too dark
  • Change shape
  • Have more than one color
  • Look different than they used to look

Because an abnormal mole could be a sign of melanoma, a common and deadly form of skin cancer, having your moles checked at least once a year by a dermatologist is critical.

Do I need to have moles removed?

As long as your mole appears normal, is not changing and isn't causing discomfort, you shouldn’t need to have it removed. But if Dr. Gould or Dr. Jacobson determines that your mole is abnormal, they’re likely to recommend a biopsy.

To perform a mole biopsy, Dr. Gould or Dr. Jacobson thoroughly numbs your treatment area before removing the mole in question. They send the specimen to a dermatopathologist for analysis and precise diagnosis.

If the mole is benign (non-cancerous), you won't need further treatment. But if the mole is cancerous, you may need additional treatment, including skin cancer surgery or radiation therapy. Dr. Gould or Dr. Jacobson will guide you through the process and go over all your options with you and help you coordinate any further treatment, if needed.

Regular, full body skin checks are critical in evaluating your moles and preventing serious skin problems. Call Gould-Jacobson Dermatology or book an appointment online today.