A dermatologist answers if it’s possible  for a scabby dry mole to be normal, or is this most likely a sign of melanoma?

“A scabby, dry mole can really be any number of things, including melanoma, but generally it is not melanoma,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger, MD, board certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with a private practice in Omaha, NE.

He further explains, “Other things that it can represent are seborrheic keratosis, which is a benign, familial growth or simply an irritated mole.”

A seborrheic keratosis can look like a melanoma, and in fact, this can very much resemble a mole, especially if you can’t get a good close look at it (i.e., it’s located on your back or the back of your neck).

Seborrheic keratosis

Not only that, but a seborrheic keratosis can suddenly start changing in appearance after looking the same for a very long time — making you think that the “mole” is changing and thus has transformed into melanoma.

“If you have something on your body that is changing and shows odd symptoms such as this [scabby dry mole], especially if it bleeds, it is time to see your dermatologist for an evaluation.”

Dr. Schlessinger, founder of LovelySkin.com, has 25+ years of experience treating many skin conditions including melanoma. He’s founder of the Advanced Skin Research Center, a clinical facility that investigates new medications and treatments.
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.  


Top image: Shutterstock/Erica Smit