To avoid serious long-term issues that are often preventable, getting any suspicious moles or spots examined promptly is always a good idea. If you do need to have a mole removed, we’ll perform the procedure with expert precision, and help you navigate the necessary insurance codes to ensure your procedure is covered.
MOLES, MELANOMA & SKIN CANCER
Brown and flesh colored moles are flat spots and firm bumps composed of pigment cells, called melanocytes. We are born with some moles and develop more over our lifetime. We can have moles everywhere we have skin, on our scalp, face, trunk, arms, legs and between our toes. They occur in both sun exposed skin and sun protected skin.
At Trueskin Dermatology and Surgery, a board certified dermatologist and MD, Dr. Harrison evaluates any or all of your moles for changes that are pre-cancerous or cancerous of malignant melanoma skin cancer. He uses high magnification and dermoscopy at the bedside to look for irregular color and shape to your moles. Any mole suspicious for melanoma or growing towards melanoma, is sampled (biopsied) and sent to a dermatopathology lab for review and diagnosis under the microscope. The pathology report will dictate if the mole is ok or if it needs to be fully removed (excised) with surgery to get beyond its roots. Dr. Harrison is very experienced in dermoscopy (a handheld scope to evaluate your moles during your office exam) and in skin surgery that may be needed for additional removal. He is recognized for his fine, meticulous surgical skills. Moles suspicious for skin cancer (melanoma) and near melanoma are a typical covered insurance benefit after deductibles and co-pays are paid.
Many patients come to Trueskin annually and semi-annually for a thorough skin examination of their moles to see that no mole is changing to melanoma. Also, we encourage our patients to perform self skin exams of all their skin monthly in the privacy of their home. A mole suspicious for melanoma can be black, gray, white or blue and be a mixture of colors. It may be shaped peculiarly, looking different than other moles on your body. A melanoma can occur on both sun exposed and sun protected skin, so be certain to check all of your skin.
Trueskin Dermatology recommends daily coverage with a sunblock containing zinc oxide. Zinc oxide blocks both tanning rays (UVA rays) and burning rays (UVB rays). The SPF sunscreen rating only tells you how well the sunscreen blocks burning rays (UVB), not tanning rays (UVA). Both UVB and UVA cause skin cancer, so it is important to use zinc oxide sunblock that blocks UVB and UVA. Zinc oxide is now micronized (smaller size) so it soaks in quickly and is not noticeable. Zinc oxide sunblocks come in lotions, creams, sprays and waterproof versions.
If a mole is deemed normal after an exam by Dr. Harrison, then some patients choose to leave the mole alone. Other patients elect to have the mole cut flat with the skin, “shaved flat”, after they have checked with their insurance that their insurance deems the mole removal a covered benefit. Trueskin can supply you with the expected procedure codes for removal (ICD10 and CPT codes) to assist you in checking if your insurance plan covers elective mole removal.
Schedule Your Professional Spot Evaluation by a Board Certified Dermatologist
At your appointment, you will see Dr. Harrison, a medical doctor, not just a nurse, physician assistant or aesthetician. Dr. Harrison has devoted his career to the study and treatment of skin, hair, and nail diseases, to skin surgery and reconstructive skin surgery, and to aesthetic and laser dermatology.