Could this mole be a dysplastic nevus or melanoma? (photo)

I have this mole on my lower back. I am not sure how long it has been there, but I know it was not there in March 2011. I have some pictures from 7/13 and it looks about the same size as it is now. I'm thinking it might have been there for possibly 2 years. I am very concerned and have had dysplastic moles in the past. I'm getting this mole removed tomorrow, but for peace of mind would like some feedback. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 4

Moles and Clinical Evaluation

Moles come in all shapes and sizes and cannot be diagnosed from a photograph.  If you are concerned that the size, shape, or color have changed please consult a board certified dermatologist to evaluate the mole and do a complete skin exam.  I do a skin exam on every patient who does a consultation and there are many patients who are completely unaware that they have a skin cancer.  Please do an annual skin exam since it saves lives.

New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Moles Require Physician Evalution

The best answer about your mole is going to be obtained by an in person evaluation by a Dermatologist who is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.  While a picture is worth a thousand words, a patient is worth a thousand pictures--- nothing beats an in person evaluation.  The ABCDE's of melanoma are useful GUIDELINES for signs of worrisome moles, but many benign lesions can mimic these changes.  Further, some melanomas do NOT follow these guidelines.  So please, make sure you are properly evaluated in person. Best of luck.

Jeffrey C. Poole, MD
Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Suspicious mole on the lower back

To be safe, you should be carefully evaluated by a board certified dermatologist. Please use the ABCDE's as your guide for when to be concerned about moles: A for Asymmetry; B for Irregular Borders; C for Black or uneven Colors; D for diameter greater than a pencil eraser; and E for a growth that is Evolving or changing. If necessary, it is an extremely simple five minute procedure for a dermatologist to remove the mole using either a "punch" or a "shave" biopsy which typically leaves a minimal scar. The mole can then be checked microscopically for reassurance.
You can follow the video link to learn more about identifying the changes in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Dysplastic nevus or melanoma

There are many options for what this can be. You obviously check your body for changes in skin sites, which is great. When you see something new or something changing, just make an appointment and have it checked out in person by a dermatologist. Don't fret, just get an appointment.

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.