Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Nevus Evaluation

The evaluation of skin moles begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with a normal skin mole usually include:

  • Color is tan, brown, or black
  • Sharp borders
  • Round or oval shape
  • Less than 6 mm (1/4 inch) in diameter
  • Symmetric: one side has the same shape as the other

Usually, tests are not necessary to make the diagnosis of a skin mole. However, tests may be required in order to decide if a skin mole has become a malignant melanoma.

Tests that may be used to evaluate a skin mole include:

Continue to Nevus Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Nevus References
  1. Muhn CY, From L, Glied M. Detection of artificial changes in mole size by skin self-examination. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 May;42(5 Pt 1):754-9. [10775850]
  2. Seidenari S, Pellacani G, Grana C. Colors in atypical nevi: a computer description reproducing clinical assessment. Skin Res Technol. 2005 Feb;11(1):36-41. [15691257]
  3. Tilliss TS. Examination of skin moles. Am J Dent. 1997 Aug;10(4):164-5. [9590901]
  4. Weinstock MA, Nguyen FQ, Martin RA. Enhancing skin self-examination with imaging: evaluation of a mole-mapping program. J Cutan Med Surg. 2004 Jan-Feb;8(1):1-5. [15688095]
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