Melanocytic Nevi - Moles

What Is Melanocytic Nevi?

Melanocytic nevus is the medical term for the common mole. It can occur on any area of the body. There are several major and common types including junctional, compound, and dermal nevi. Congenital moles are the kind people are born with. Spitz nevus is a worrisome form of mole that may closely resemble melanoma in appearance to the naked eye or under the microscope. Many patients also make atypical moles that may be called "dysplastic nevi" or "Clark’s nevi."

Who gets it?

Almost everyone has moles, although they are statistically more common in people with light skin. You may have as few as five or ten, or as many as 40. Development is completely natural and normal.

Causes

Most moles are naturally occurring and attributed to your inherited genetics. While you shouldn’t be overly worried, if you have moles it is important to examine them on your own from time to time. All moles are sites for potential melanoma growth, a common type of skin cancer.  In some individuals sun exposure can cause them to make more moles. 

Treatment Options

If your moles change in color, become irritated, or bleed, we urge you to schedule an appointment. Early detection and treatment can cure most cases of melanoma, the pigmented form of skin cancer. Surgical excision or biopsy can effectively remove the mole. Dr. Sheehan is an expert in helping patients identify which of their “moles” are harmless and which ones may need to be biopsied to rule out skin cancer. 

How We Can Help

We work with many patients in Evans, Martinez, Augusta, Grovetown, Aiken, and North Augusta. If you have concerns about your moles, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sheehan today at Harmonie Medical.