Atypical moles, also referred to as Clark’s nevi or dysplastic nevi are moles that are considered to be precancerous or more likely to turn into melanoma than regular moles.
When looking at an atypical mole on the skin, you will see some of the features that you ses when looking at melanoma such as an irregular border, slight variation in color, or asymmetry (if you cut the mole in half, the two halves do not look the same).
When a pathologist looks at a dysplastic nevi under the microscope, it has features that are in-between a normal mole and a melanoma. Most experts believe that atypical moles are at higher risk of turning into melanoma as compared to normal moles. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer which kills quickly if not removed in time.
What causes atypical moles?
The tendency to develop atypical moles is inherited, so if others in your family have the condition you are more likely to develop it.
Exposing the skin to sunlight is thought to lead to the development of dysplastic nevi.
What about atypical mole prevention?
If you have a family member who has had a melanoma and you have atypical moles, you should have a complete skin exam each year.
People with many atypical moles should have a complete skin examination annually to keep close tabs on their development.
You should also check your own moles once a month with a thorough self-examination. If one mole seems to be changing more than your other moles or is marching out of step with your other moles it should be removed immediately.
Use sunscreen daily on exposed skin areas.
Treatment options for Dysplastic Nevi
Atypical moles should be removed immediately if they are changing color, shape or size over a period of weeks to months. They should also be removed immediately if they bleed or itch. These signs all suggest that an atypical mole may have turned into a melanoma.
You may have success with a natural mole removal product such as Heal Moles. If that is unsuccessful, the only safe way to remove an atypical mole is to haveit cut out. The specimen is then sent to the pathologist to be analyzed under the microscope. Removing an atypical mole leaves a permanent scar.
If an atypical mole looks like it could be an early melanoma, the doctor will recommend removal as soon as possible. Sometimes the only way to be absolutely sure that an atypical mole is not a melanoma is to have it removed and analyzed.
The bottom line here is that if you ever notice anything on your skin, whether it is on your face, neck, body, arms or legs, if it appears out of the ordinary it’s always a good idea to get it checked out. Most of the time it will be nothing to worry about, but you need to get it checked out just to be sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry.