• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

Dermatologists And Moles: When To Seek Help


Jun 20, 2024

Meet Matthew B Quan M.D., a respected dermatologist within the Harvard community. He has a key message for us all. Moles are common. They are mostly harmless. But sometimes, they’re not. Just like storm clouds on a sunny day, a mole can signal a change. A change that may require a dermatologist’s attention. This blog post will guide you on when to seek help.

The ABCDEs of Moles

Quan advises us to remember the ABCDEs of moles. These are asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolution. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half.
  • Border: The edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
  • Color: There are varying shades of brown, black, or tan.
  • Diameter: The mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolution: The mole changes in size, shape, color, or elevation.

If you notice any of these changes, it’s time to see a dermatologist.

Act on Suspicion

Waiting for a mole to show all ABCDEs is not wise. A single change can warrant a visit to the dermatologist. Remember, early detection is key in treating skin cancer.

Table of Known Risk Factors

Some people are at higher risk of developing dangerous moles. Here are some risk factors:

Excessive Sun Exposure Chronic exposure to sunlight increases the risk.
Family History Having a family member with skin cancer increases the risk.
Many Moles Having more than 50 moles increases the risk.
Pale Skin People with light skin, hair, and eyes have a higher risk.

Understanding your risk can help you stay vigilant.


Quan’s advice is clear. Moles are mostly harmless, but they can signal a problem. Paying attention to changes and seeking help when needed can save lives. We can all benefit from this wisdom.

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