Here’s what a dermatologist says about small moles growing together and the possibility of melanoma.
“Sometimes a normal existing mole (round and regular in shape) may seem to morph into a larger, irregular lesion,” says Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.
Dr. Tung explains, “There are a few possible scenarios that may be in play:
“1. The mole may have undergone change into an atypical (dysplastic) mole or even skin cancer (melanoma).
“2. Sometimes adjacent freckles grow darker with sun exposure and seem to join up with a nearby mole.
“In either case, it is a good idea to have that concerning mole checked out by a dermatologist.
“He or she will examine the spot visually, and possibly with a special instrument that magnifies called a dermatoscope.
“If the lesion looks suspicious, a skin biopsy may be recommended to view the cells and architecture of the skin under the microscope.”
When in doubt, have it checked out.
Dr. Tung’s specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.