Nearly everyone has a few moles somewhere on their body. These growths are usually brown or black in appearance and can appear anywhere on the skin. Moles can be solitary, or they can appear in groups. While most moles are perfectly harmless, they can occasionally become cancerous, requiring prompt removal.
If you have moles on your body that show warning signs of cancer, we recommend joining us at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery for a screening. Our team has over three decades of experience providing high-quality skincare throughout Appleton and Green Bay, and we are here to help you assess moles and provide treatment as needed.
What is a Mole Screening, and What is it Used For?
Mole screenings are brief, physical evaluations of any worrisome spots on your body. During this short appointment, your provider will take a look at moles on your body, either with the naked eye or with a special tool called a dermatoscope, and let you know if any of the moles give cause for concern.
In some cases, our specialists may recommend that you have the mole removed with a small blade, a laser, or with chemical compounds. Moles that are removed will then be biopsied, which will let us know whether or not any cancer cells are present.
A mole screening can be a good way to verify that the moles on your body are benign. In the event of skin cancer, it can also ensure prompt intervention and targeted treatment.
When Do I Need a Mole Screening?
If you have a family history of skin cancer or have developed new moles in adulthood, we recommend a quick self-assessment every month. Keep an eye on the moles on your body and schedule a professional mole screening if any of your moles change in shape, size, or color. Additionally, we recommend having a mole screening if you develop a mole that looks different from the others on your body.
Additionally, it may be wise to schedule a mole screening if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Moles that bleed
- Moles that ooze
- Moles that itch
- Scaly moles
- Tenderness or pain surrounding your mole
Remember that none of these symptoms necessarily means you have skin cancer, but they do warrant a closer look from a medical professional.
What to Expect?
If you have never had a mole screening before, it is natural to have some questions about what you can expect. Our providers are known not only for their clinical precision but also for their caring and compassionate approach. We will ensure that your appointment is comfortable and pleasant and that you leave with all the answers you need about the state of your skin.
Here are a few specific notes about what you can expect from your mole screening at the Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery.
During The Appointment
We generally ask patients to undress and put on a medical gown, which allows the provider easier access to all body parts where moles might be present. Your provider will perform a visual inspection of your skin, from scalp to toes, and also ask if you have any moles that especially concern you or warrant a look.
How Long Does a Mole Screening Usually Take?
Mole screenings are usually very brief appointments. You can anticipate that your mole screening will take no more than 15 minutes or so.
After The Mole Screening?
Assuming there is nothing worrisome, your provider will let you know if and when they recommend you schedule your next screening. They will also be happy to answer any questions you have about your skin health.
If you require a mole removal, your provider will let you know and walk you through the specific procedure they recommend. Any moles that are removed are biopsied, as a matter of routine, to either confirm or rule out the presence of cancer.
If you have cancerous cells, your provider will let you know about the next steps for treatment.
Will I Need to Do Anything to Prepare for the Test?
Before you join us for a mole screening, we recommend taking some time to assess your skin. Make a note of any moles that concern you, and be sure to discuss them at your consultation. We also ask patients not to wear makeup to their skin examinations. It is best to wear your hair in a loose style, which allows our physicians to examine your scalp.
Schedule a Mole Screening at Wisconsin Institute of Plastic Surgery
Our practice is a trusted skincare provider with almost a decade of experience serving patients in Appleton, Green Bay, and the surrounding communities.
If you have any moles that worry you or simply want to be consistent about getting routine check-ups, schedule an appointment with us today at (920) 380-9890.