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Moles: Tips for managing

Dermatologists recommend the following to their patients:

  • See a mole on your skin that is changing, itching, or bleeding? If you do, immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist. These are signs that you could have melanoma, the most-serious type of skin cancer. Caught early, melanoma can be cured. Without treatment, melanoma can spread. This can be deadly.

  • Perform self-exams of your skin. A self-exam can help you catch melanoma early. You can learn how to check your skin, and what to look for by using the Body mole map.

  • Protect your skin from the sun. It is believed that being out in the sun increases the number of moles on your skin. And we know that the sun causes skin cancer. Tanning beds and sun lamps also cause skin cancer.

    To protect your skin, skip getting a tan and wear sunscreen every day.

  • Have 50 or more moles on your skin? People with many moles have a higher risk of getting melanoma, so you should have a dermatologist who can examine your skin as often as necessary.

  • Join a support group. If you have a higher risk of getting melanoma, joining a support group may help you feel better. You have a higher risk if you have FAMMM, large noticeable moles, or a mole that covers most of the body.

People who have noticeable or unusual moles often have to deal with stares and whispers. Meeting with people who face similar challenges can provide emotional support.

More resources

  • Nevus Outreach Inc.: Support and information for people who have large nevi and neurocutaneous melanocytosis (NCM).

  • Nevus Network: Support group for people who have congenital nevi.