Dermatologists recommend that adults check moles and surrounding skin at least once every three months. Those who are at higher risk for skin cancer should get a skin cancer screening by a professional at least once a year. Some dermatologists have expressed concern with tattoos, especially tattoos that cover existing moles, because the warning signs may not be as noticeable. This post will cover what to look for when checking moles, how to check moles with tattoos, and some special considerations for laser tattoo removal.
What to look for: Moles or lesions that exhibit the ABCDE (asymmetry, border, color, diameter and evolving) symptoms should be checked by a dermatologist. In addition, any spot that is different from the others or changes should be examined. The American Academy of Dermatology has downloadable body maps to help keep track of the results of self-examinations.
If you have tattoos: If you are planning to get a tattoo, it is recommended that you do not tattoo over moles or around moles, so that you are able to monitor for any changes. If you already have tattoos around moles, make sure to pay close attention to the moles, so that you can monitor changes that may be less obvious. You should have your mole looked at by your doctor if it is changing (getting bigger, bleeding, etc) or if it bleeds or gets irritated. Moles that may be cancerous or suspicious may need to be biopsied or completely removed at some point, and this could compromise the design of the tattoo. It is therefore best to avoid getting ink over a mole.
Laser tattoo removal: If you do get a tattoo removed with laser tattoo removal, and moles are present, you may consider getting the mole checked before you begin laser treatments. Laser treatments can remove the pigment in moles and and can cause discoloration or uneven color that could mimic warning signs for skin cancer.
If you do have moles and are concerned about laser tattoo removal, make sure to mention it during your free consultation. All treatments at Remove a Tattoo – laser tattoo removal clinic are performed by a physician and are safe, effective and affordable. Remove a Tattoo is located in Glendale and serves the Greater Milwaukee Area. Call us today for your free consultation!