When should your child see a dermatology provider?

There are many reasons a child may need to see a dermatologist ranging from rashes to bug bites to acne. One of the most important reasons for your son or daughter to be seen in clinic is to monitor moles that are worrisome.

Most moles seen on children’s skin are generally not too concerning. As your child grows, it is normal for the moles to grow along with them and even sometimes change in color. Some moles may disappear completely as your child continues to grow. In an otherwise healthy child, melanoma and other skins cancers are quite rare; however, there are some times when a mole should be checked by a trained dermatology provider.

  1. If you see more than 50 moles on your child’s skin. Large numbers of moles may indicate a higher risk for melanoma. When caught early, melanoma is very treatable and your child should be seen yearly for regular skin exams to monitor the moles.
  2. If your child’s mole is bleeding or painful. If your child is experiencing any discomfort from a skin lesion, they should have it checked out.
  3. If your child has two or more different colors in it or looks jagged around the edges. These moles may indicate cancerous or precancerous change and should be evaluated in clinic.
  4. If your child has a very large mole. Most moles and freckles on the skin are pencil eraser sized or smaller. In some instances, children may develop or be born with large moles that may cover a significant portion of their skin. These moles should be monitored by your dermatology provider, as there are melanomas that can arise from these moles. Early detection is essential for good treatment outcome!
  5. If your child’s mole is changing. Perhaps you’ve noticed a small brown mole on your child’s leg that has been present since birth. If this mole looks the same and never changes, most likely it is nothing to worry about. If the mole all the sudden turns very dark brown or changes color, or all the sudden has a different shape or grows dramatically – it’s time to have it checked in the office.

Regular yearly monitoring for atypical moles is part of a healthy, whole-body approach to skincare no matter your age. To schedule a skin exam for you or your child, call (952) 929-8888 or visit our contact page.

Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board certified Physician Assistant specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She is currently accepting new patients in our Edina and Downtown Minneapolis locations.