Keep an Eye on These Often Benign, But Sometimes Malignant Lesions in Fruitland, Idaho
Many people develop colored skin growths that they label as moles. These growths, which are technically known as nevi or keratoses, rarely become skin cancer. The vast majority are benign—meaning they pose no health risk at all. However, when it comes to moles, Fruitland, Idaho’s Dr. Carl Thornfeldt and CT Derm team advise everyone to pay careful attention to any changes. Nevi may develop into premalignant melanoma. Keratoses may sometimes develop into squamous cell or basal cell cancers. Melanoma in particular requires medical attention as soon as possible, and the Fruitland area has one of the highest incidences of melanoma in the United States.
Nevi and keratoses come in a range of colors, shapes, sizes, and numbers. Warning signs for moles that are “bad actors” include asymmetric shapes; indistinct or ragged borders; mottled, unusual, or multiple colors; width greater than a pencil eraser or growing wider; persistent itching or pain lasting longer than two weeks; or changing in any way. A good strategy is to watch for an “ugly duckling,” which means the growth looks different from any other skin growths you have—potentially indicating cancer. Any of these signs can be crucial to getting timely, proper care. We advise everyone to perform monthly skin checks, as well as to schedule visits with a dermatologist every six months if you had skin growths that were bad actors, such as pre-malignant moles or keratoses, in the past. A visit every 18 months is appropriate if you have not previously had a dangerous skin growth.