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Ask A Skin Doctor: Dangerous Moles

Dear Doctor

Hi! About 5 weeks ago I noticed a red bump on my stomach, about 2 inches below my navel, that was never painful.

It’s a perfectly round circle, but in the last week its turned a shade of gray and now it has  black dot in the bottom center. I have a dr’s appointment in exactly 7 days (earliest possible appointment).

Should I wait that long after having had the red bump for atleast 5 weeks and it recently turning gray with a black dot.

I’m concerned about skin cancer. I read that if it gets black or the shape or size changes that it may be spreading. I’m afraid of waiting another full week after having it for 5 weeks already with it turning black and all.

Also several very small red bumps have appeared on my chest and stomach that may have been there, but I haven’t noticed before and one in particular on my waistline is red and painful.

Please help me any advice would be appreciated.

dangerous moles

Dear Patient

The ABCDE signs used to differentiate malignant melanomas (a type of skin cancer) from benign (noncancerous) moles are:

A Asymmetrical shape which means that one half of the lesion does not match the other half

You say that your lesion is a perfectly round circle. This is a good sign.

B Border irregularity which means it is irregular, blurred, notched or scalloped

Your lesion has a regular border. This is a good sign.

C Color variation which means that the lesion has different shades of brown, black, red, pink and even blue.

Your lesion has color variation since you say it now has a black dot. This is a bad sign.

D Diameter more than 6 mm or 1¼ inch.

You can measure the size of your lesion at home.

E  Evolving lesion which is changing in size, color or shape or becoming itchy, painful, scaly, crusting or ulcerating

Your lesion has been evolving since you say that it has turned a shade of grey and now it has a black dot in the bottom. This is a bad sign.

Since you have several of bad signs, you need to consult your nearest dermatologist as soon as possible. If the closest appointment is after 7 days, then you have no choice but to wait since the dermatologist may have to remove it after they have examined it and send it to the lab to be examined under a microscope.

Your local dermatologist will also examine the red bumps on your chest, stomach and waistline.

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