Advertisement

How is an atypical mole diagnosed?

A mole that is atypical is usually diagnosed by examining it at a doctor's office. A doctor may look at it with more light and/or a magnifying lens to view it more closely. If the mole is changing color, becoming larger quickly, has irregular borders, or is oddly shaped it may need to be monitored closely and sometimes a sample or whole lesion may need to be removed to check it more closely under a microscope.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A doctor diagnoses an atypical mole by carefully examining the mole. He or she may suspect a growth on the skin is an atypical mole if it meets these criteria:
  • It is tan or brown.
  • It has an irregular or uneven shape.
  • It is roughly the size of a pencil eraser.
A doctor may also take a biopsy of the growth; this involves removing a small piece of the mole and sending it to a laboratory for evaluation.

Continue Learning about Skin Care

Foods That Make Your Skin Glow
Foods That Make Your Skin Glow
Top skin creams average about $400 per ounce (and you thought gas was expensive!), yet most offer little proof that they do half of what they promise....
Read More
What is sweat?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Sweat is a salty fluid that acts as a cooling agent for the body. Unfortunately, when mixed with bac...
More Answers
7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By
7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By
Take better care of your skin with these quick lessons from a dermatologist.
Start Slideshow
How Can I Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite?
How Can I Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.