Skin Rejuvenation
Dermatologist Ft Worth Texas
Ft Worth Cosmetic Medicine

Moles & Screening

We perform skin checks and mole screenings at patient request, sometimes at the initial visit but other times scheduled as a follow-up visit depending on what the needs of the patient are.  For anyone with a history of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, a skin exam at least yearly is required.  For those with a history of an atypical mole, a family history of melanoma, or multiple moles in general, yearly skin exams are also a good idea.  Many other people prefer to come in at least once for a total body skin exam, just to make sure there is nothing to worry about.

Atypical moles occur anywhere on the body, even in places where there hasn’t been a lot of sun exposure.  For this reason, we tend to ask you to wear a gown for the exam.  We usually check from head to toe including in between your toes.  It may surprise you to know that melanoma can occur underneath a toenail or fingernail or in between fingers and toes, so we try to check there too.  Checking underneath the underwear is not a bad idea either, although we allow patients to decline if they are sure there is nothing there and if that is the patient’s preference. 

An atypical mole is most often dark-brown or black with an irregular border, although tan, pink, or red are also possibilities.   A mole that has changed may be one that needs to be removed and checked underneath the microscope.  A common misconception is that if a mole is flat rather than raised, it is not a bad mole.  However, many melanomas can begin as flat dark-brown or black lesions.

If a melanoma is caught early and treated, the patient usually has an excellent prognosis.  If there is any concern about a new or changing mole, it is best to come in and have it checked. 

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Trinity Vista Dermatology
800 8th Avenue, Suite 326 | Fort Worth, Texas 76104
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Dr. Allison Readinger