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Moles

Evaluation & Treatment of Moles

Model ImageWith skin cancer cases on the rise, moles get a lot of attention today. People sometimes assume that moles, known to doctors as nevi, are inherently dangerous. Most moles are indeed harmless, but they do bear watching. At Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates, we offer exams and treatments for moles to help people from Naperville, Joliet, and other cities throughout the southwest suburbs of Chicago care for the health and beauty of their skin.

If you have concerns about a specific mole or would like to schedule a comprehensive skin exam, request an appointment with one of our dermatologists today or call us at (815) 744-8554.

What Are Moles?

Moles are collections of pigment cells, technically called melanocytes, and are most often harmless. They can be raised or flat and range in tone from pinkish to brown, to black, and even blue. Almost everyone has some and it's not unusual to have 40 or more.

Congenital nevi are those you have at birth. Most doctors believe they are more prone to developing into cancerous moles over the years and will recommend large ones be removed in childhood. Most people develop additional nevi through about age 20, though some people continue to see new ones appear on their skin in later years.

The Common Mole

The majority of moles on the body are innocuous. In general, these moles have the following characteristics:

  • Smaller than 5mm (approximately the diameter of a pencil eraser)
  • Well-defined edges
  • Symmetrical shape
  • Uniform color
  • Unchanging size, color, and shape

It is important to remember that these are just basic guidelines. In some cases, malignant moles have the same characteristics as benign ones, so it is important to have your moles monitored by a dermatologist.

What to Watch For

You should keep a watchful eye on any dysplastic, or unusual-looking, nevi you may have. These moles have characteristics such as irregular border, color variation and asymmetrical shape. Dysplastic nevi are likely to be considered pre-cancerous and can develop into malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. These kinds of nevi tend to be hereditary. If you and your family have them, it's a good idea to set up a routine of regular examinations with one of our dermatologists.

Cause for Concern

Early detection is essential to successful treatment of skin cancer. Find out what to look for with our handy ABCDEs of melanoma guide.

Reasons to Remove a Mole

Mole removal usually takes just a short visit to one of our offices; we use only a local anesthetic. There are a variety of reasons people choose to have a mole removed:

  • Frequent irritation by friction from clothing
  • Undesirable location, such as the face
  • Difficult to monitor because of location, such as the back or scalp
  • "Suspicious" or "ugly" looking because of characteristics associated with melanoma
  • Moles that are evolving – changing in size, shape, color, etc.

A healthy mole, once removed, should not grow back. If the appearance of a mole causes you any concerns, that's the time to contact us.

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Meet the Doctors

Our unique combination of expertise in the fields of cosmetic surgery and dermatology gives us the opportunity to offer a wide variety of ways to reveal a more beautiful you. We provide the latest plastic surgery techniques, dermatologic treatments, and a full spectrum of medical spa services.

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Our Locations

Our multi-center practice offers the highest quality of care in our convenient locations throughout the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

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1Joliet Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
1124 Essington Road
Joliet, IL 60435
(815) 744-8554
Monday–Thursday:
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
2Lombard Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
2500 S Highland Avenue #320
Lombard, IL 60148
(815) 744-8554
Monday–Thursday:
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
3Bourbonnais Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
595 William R Latham Senior Dr
Bourbonnais, IL 60914 (815) 744-8554

Monday–Thursday:
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
4Frankfort Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
20646 Abbey Woods Court North #104
Frankfort, IL 60423 (815) 744-8554

Monday–Thursday:
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
5Ottawa Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
123 West Michigan Street
Ottawa, IL 61350 (815) 744-8554

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday:
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tuesday: Closed

6Valparaiso Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Associates
3501 Enterprise Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383 (219) 242-8415

Monday, Thursday, Friday:
8 a.m.–4 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday: Closed