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Question about a 'mole'
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Question about a 'mole'

Hello,

Nearly two years ago, at age 33, a somewhat unusual looking mole appeared on my face pretty much out of nowhere.  It's located way over on the left side, almost along my jaw line and sligtly below earlobe level.  If I'm remembering correctly, it began as a standard blemish or itchy spot... then it quickly turned into what it is today -- a scaly, round, symmetrical, and slightly raised "mole" nearly the exact size of a pencil eraser.  The color, a very light brown, is fairly consistent throughout the scaly surface and the edges are no more raised or scaly than the rest of the mole.  About two weeks ago, a tiny scaly piece came off when I brushed against it... this did not cause bleeding and it did not change the mole's overall appearance.  The mole does not itch, hurt, or bleed.  I read something about a condition that causes scaly, oily spots or patches. (?)  However, this mole is definently not oily.  It has more of a dry, cracked texture.

A few questions:

1).  I've researched the usual scary stuff and looked at pictures of suspicious moles online, and while I am very concerned about melanoma and other skin cancers, I want to be able to put things into perspective.  We are in the process of changing our self-insured healthcare coverage, so it's a really bad time to run to a specialist.  In your opinion, based on the information provided, should I do so anyway? (*Run*, not walk, that is!)  Does this sound like melanoma?  How worried should I be?  I will certainly have it checked out soon, but I'm wondering how soon is soon enough? (Sorry, that's a hard question!)

2).  Does the scaly, rough texture mean anything in particular?  I have fair skin, freckles, and several other moles (including a configuration of odd-shaped moles on my abdomen that I've had since birth), but this one is really quite different.  While almost perfectly round, it's larger than all my other moles and it has that strange, rough texture.  The texture is what concerns me the most.  I'm just not sure what the scaliness indicates and I have never seen anything like it before.

With fair skin, many sunburns in my childhood (and some not so long ago), I usually pay attention to changes in existing moles, etc.  But for some unknown reason, I just haven't worried much about this mole until now.  Dumb, to say the least. :-(

Thanks for your time!
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This does sound like a mole, and does not sound like a melanoma. The rough texture means nothing I can think of.  Obviously, you need to show someone the mole for a proper diagnosis.  I'm afraid I simply can't advise you to wait or how long to wait.  To allay your anxiety, you may need to pay the single visit to a specialist that will be required.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
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