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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question

Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17986
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My son has had a mole on his back from very young. I had

Customer Question

Hi My son has had a mole on his back from very young. I had measured it at 6mm X 4mm in April 2012. I noticed yesterday it looked slightly larger( he is now 17) and it now measures 8mm X 5mm. There don't seem to be any other changes in colour or shape and it's not itchy or bleeding......should we be concerned? Not sure if a mole would typically grow as he has grown considerably over the last four years. Thank you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 10 months ago.
Hello,
I'm Shantal and I'm a moderator for this topic.
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Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

Could you attach a picture of the mole?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

I had asked if a picture could be attached and have not heard back, although I realize there was a delay between when you posted the question and when the moderator placed it in the Medical category.

There are two levels of answer to your question.

The general recommendation is that a mole that is larger than 6 mm should be checked. The diameter is one of the common warning signs for moles, usually structured as the mnemonic, ABCD. The D represents diameter, and if the diameter is > 6 mm, it is appropriate for the mole to be checked.

I ask for a picture because there are some other structures in the skin that may be falsely referred to as moles, and some of these may be larger than 6 mm. If you are certain that this is a mole, then the greatest diameter of 8 mm is a size that would warrant further evaluation.

If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi here is a photo as requested Dr Love. Any further advice would be greatly appreciated Thank you Gill
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

I am sorry for the delay, but I was away from the computer. I waited as long as I could until it was time for me to leave the computer and finally posted the above response, and then missed the picture by 5 minutes.

This does look like a mole rather than another skin structure that can be falsely called a mole. As such, the size is sufficient to warrant further evaluation. As we teach the ABCDs of warning signs, any single sign that is positive would warrant further evaluation. It certainly is true that it would be more worrisome if multiple signs are present, but any one criteria warrants further evaluation.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your advice. I shall make an appointment with our G.P. to get it checked out.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

You are very welcome.

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17986
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Just one final question if I may please? Would I measure to the outside edge of the slightly lighter shading of pink around the mole or just the darker colouring? Thank you
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

The measurement should be to the outer edge of the lighter shading of pink.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks so much, you've been ever so helpful. I have cut a piece of clear plastic 6mm by 6mm and it actually seems to be covering the mole so hopefully it's nothing sinister. Not sure how accurate my previous measurements were now. Would you still get it checked? Gill
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

If it is not > 6 mm, then it would not need to be checked. It would be fine to simply monitor it for now.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Fantastic thank you so much....you're a star!!
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 10 months ago.

You are most welcome.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Dr my son visited the doctor to have this mole checked. The G.P. said he was 100% sure it was a normal mole despite measuring 8mm X 5mm as he had measured it. He explained the reason it was fine was because it had a hair growing from it and it was both symmetrical and had clear defined edges(which if you see the photo I'm not certain of either of these). He said there was no reason at all to refer him to a dermatologist though I am seeking more reassurance. If I need to pay for advice, please let me know. Kind regards Gill
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The doctor also told my son that moles can grow as he grows or have a tendency to grow themselves so it is nothing to be worried about.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

t is true that a hair growing out of a mole is typically a sign that it is a benign mole, and while the hair is not visible on the picture, a live examination is always more sensitive and accurate than a review of a picture.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your speedy reply Dr Love. So would I be OK to say then in this case the size and shape would not be of concern? Thanks for all your help Gill
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

Being of a certain size or shape is of sufficient concern that it should be checked, but the live examination is the reassuring factor, not the size or shape.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Brilliant, thank you
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 9 months ago.

You are very welcome.

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