Dermatologist Advice: When Moles and Warts Require Attention

Most adults have between 10 and 40 common moles. Moles and warts don’t always mean you need to visit a dermatologist, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. 

There are signs that you should make an appointment with a doctor and consider skin therapies. Keep reading to learn more. 

When Do Moles Require Medical Attention?

For moles, a helpful guideline is the ABCDE rule:

  • Asymmetry (one half doesn’t match the other)
  • Border irregularity (edges are not smooth)
  • Color variation (shades of brown, black, or even red)
  • Diameter larger than a pencil eraser (6mm)
  • Evolution over time.

Additionally, watch for itching, bleeding, or pain around the mole. These are potential warning signs that warrant attention.

When Do Warts Need Medical Attention?

Most warts are harmless and often go away on their own. However, there are instances where medical attention may be necessary. 

Here are some signs you should visit a dermatologist:

  • Changes in the size, color, or shape
  • Persistent pain or bleeding¬†
  • It’s located in sensitive areas¬†
  • Signs of infection¬†
  • Numerous warts

In some cases, over-the-counter treatments may not effectively remove warts. Medical options like this surgical dermatology in central Kentucky can provide alternative solutions. 

Conducting Regular Self-Examinations

Inspecting your skin for a few minutes monthly can help you detect any abnormalities early on. 

Find a well-lit room with natural light or bright artificial lighting. This will help you see any changes or irregularities in your skin. Stand in front of a full-length mirror or use hand mirrors to examine hard-to-see areas. 

Start at Your Scalp and Work Downward

Begin by examining your scalp, using a comb to help you part your hair and check for abnormalities. Move down to your face, neck, chest, and torso.

Check Your Arms

Look at the front and back of each arm, including your underarms. Don’t forget to check between your fingers and under your nails.

Examine Your Legs

Sit down and prop one leg up on a chair or stool to examine the front and back of each leg. Remember to check the tops of your feet, between your toes, and under your toenails.

Check Your Genital Area

For men, check the front and back of your genitals and your groin area. For women, it’s important to check the pubic area, vulva, and vaginal area.

Inspect Your Back

Inspect your back for any changes or irregularities by using a hand mirror or asking a partner or family member for help. Pull out your phone if a mirror isn’t giving you a good enough view. 

Set it up to snap a couple of pics and check the images.

Note Any Changes

Note any changes in the size, shape, color, or texture of moles or other spots on your skin. Also, pay attention to any new growths, sores that won’t heal, or changes in sensation, like itchiness or tenderness.

Consult with Skin Experts 

If you notice any concerning changes during your self-examination, make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible. They can perform a professional skin examination and determine if further testing or treatment is necessary.

Don’t Let Moles and Warts Stress You Out

It is essential to be vigilant about any changes in your skin, especially moles and warts. Are you looking for more advice on health? 

Check out more health and wellness articles on our site. 

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