Warts & Moles

Warts are the result of a virus that causes many cells to grow on the external layer of skin. They are not dangerous to your health or cancerous and usually fade away on their own over time. Typically found on your hands and feet, common warts can make patients feel self-conscious and want them removed. Removing warts will keep them from spreading, but they might come back as they can be a recurring problem.

Benign moles are referred to as “melanocytic nevi, ” and they appear as tan to dark brown spots or bumps on the skin, lips, and even eyes. Moles are nests of melanocytes. Moles are present on almost every person and develop in the first few decades of life. Moles can occur anywhere on the body including the scalp, genital area, and mucous membranes. A birth mole is called a “congenital nevus, ” and birth moles should grow proportionately with the body. All moles should be monitored regularly. 

The ABCDEs has been developed to help patients recognize the different aspects of moles.  

  • “A” = Asymmetry:
    • Moles should be symmetrical. If one side is different from the other, the mole should be investigated.
  • “B” = Border:
    • The border of the mole should be regular, sharp, and well-defined.
  • “C” = Color:
    • Uniform color should exist in the mole. More than 2 colors indicate an atypical mole.
  • “D” = Diameter:
    • Moles should usually be 6 mm or smaller in diameter. This is about the size of an eraser on a pencil.
  • “E” = Evolution:
    • New or changing moles should be examined by a physician. These changes can include changes in how the mole looks or new symptoms to the mole including itching, pain, bleeding, or ulceration.