We got many questions after our “Mole Tracking” post about what a healthy mole looks like vs. a mole to be concerned about.
A Heathly, Normal Mole (above)– Most of the population has these somewhere on their bodies. If your mole is symmetrical, uniform in color, smaller than a pencil eraser and hasn’t changed in the last few years-it should not be of any concern.
Atypical Mole (above)– could become cancerous. These “dysplastic nevi” often have uneven borders and are dark in color. These are not malignant but should be watched carefully.
Actinic Keratosis (above)– could be cancerous. These patches feel scaly and rough and are often found in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun (ears, scalp, shoulders, backs of hands, etc.)
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) (above)-Cancerous. BCC is the most common of all skin cancers and often appears as a shiny bump, raised pink or red spot or a sore that won’t heal.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (above)– Cancerous. SCC is the second most dangerous type of skin cancer and it is fast growing. These look like scaly patches or warts and may bleed.
Melanoma-(above) Cancerous. Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. These are unevenly shaped with irregular borders and can be multi-colored, though they are often brown or black.
* photos courtesy of the Melanoma Education Foundation, the skin cancer foundation, the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser & NYU Medical Center School of Dermatology