If Your Mole Looks Like This, It’s Time To See A Dermatologist

Experts explain the signs of melanoma to look out for on your skin.

By adulthood, the average person has between 10 and 40 moles on their body. These small growths on the skin — which are usually round or oval in shape and pink, tan, brown or black in color — are very common and generally harmless.

But occasionally, an abnormal mole can be a sign of melanoma, a relatively rare but deadly form of skin cancer. So it’s crucial to know what to look for. (Non-melanoma skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas make up the majority of cases, but tend to be less aggressive.)

Melanoma can develop from an existing mole, but more commonly, it appears as a new lesion on the skin. It can appear anywhere on the body but the most common locations are the chest and back for men and legs for women.

The good news is that, when caught early, melanoma is typically curable, dermatologist Dr. Darrell S. Rigel told HuffPost.

“If it is caught early, a simple removal typically suffices to achieve a cure,” said Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology and director of the Melanoma Surveillance Clinic at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.

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