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.
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.
In this Article
- Moles facts
- What are moles?
- What causes moles, and what are risk factors for developing moles?
- What types of moles are there?
- What are liver spots or age spots?
- What are seborrheic keratoses?
- Who is more prone to getting moles?
- Does having more moles increase one's chance of getting melanoma?
- Do moles ever disappear spontaneously?
- Which skin cancers look like moles?
- How can moles be prevented?
- How can moles be treated? What are different types of mole removal?
- Is there a blood test or X-ray to diagnose moles?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
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
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Common Moles, Dysplastic Nevi, and Risk of Melanoma." Nov. 1, 2011. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/moles>.
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