Does my Mole on the Back of My Ear Look Cancerous? (photo)

I have a mole on the back of my ear that looks abnormal to me. I have spent most of my childhood-teen years outdoors as I am a lifeguard. Does this mole look possibly cancerous?

Doctor Answers 3

Mole removal

I would highly encourage you to see a plastic surgeon or dermatologist to have the lesion evaluated and most likely biopsied.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Mole removal on the ear

Because your mole is dark and irregular and is in a sun exposed area, it is important for you to have it examined and most likely biopsied. However, I fully disagree with the plastic surgeon below who frequently states that you need a complete excision with sutures and even says that you need to see a plastic surgeon only! The shave biopsy/removal technique is the predominant procedure used by dermatologists to remove flat hyper pigmented areas such as yours on the ear. This technique produces a good cosmetic outcome and, if done well, produces an ideal specimen for histopathologic evaluation (which is also contrary to what is stated below). There are numerous references from other physicians who have reached the same conclusion. Here is one example of an article just published by a well respected dermatologist: Practical advice regarding problematic pigmented lesions; Dirk Elston, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2012, Volume 67, Number 1, pages 148-155. In his article he specifically states "Saucerization with a narrow margin of normal-appearing skin produces an excellent diagnostic specimen with minimal functional impairment and good cosmetic outcome. This is my preferred technique." You can follow the video link below 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


Consult a plastic surgeon for removal and submitting for pathology. Moles should be removed full thickness by excision to be able to examine properly

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 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.