Moles

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Is there a blood test or X-ray to diagnose moles?

No, there are no blood tests or special X-rays for moles. There are, however, newer digital mole imaging technologies like the SIA scan (SIA = spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis) or MelaFind that are now available to evaluate moles. These noninvasive, computerized mole-scan devices can help objectively examine a mole and capture information like size, amount, and pattern of pigment, blood flow, and other characteristics. Based on this information, changes in moles or irregular cells may be more readily identified. This technology is fairly new and still developing.

What about UV cameras that show moles?

UV cameras using special black and white images depicting the amount of sun damage may be helpful in some situations to demonstrate sun damage. UV cameras do not diagnose moles or skin cancer.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology

REFERENCES:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "Common Moles, Dysplastic Nevi, and Risk of Melanoma." Nov. 1, 2011. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/moles>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/12/2015

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