The question of the itchy mole, help!?

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4/4/2014 10:25am
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Replies: 5

First and foremost I would like to say how much I am impressed by the upbeat attitude everyone seems to have on here.  So here is my question: about a month ago I was drying off from a shower, looked in the mirror and noticed a mole on my shoulder was flaky.  I rubbed it with the towel, the top layer of skin came off.  When I looked at it closely I realized it looked a little weird( it is smaller than a pencil eraser, has mostly regular borders, doesn't seem to have gotten much bigger than the last time I noticed it; but the inside is brown with scar-like tissue running through it. It is almost perfectly flat).  This mole is under my bra strap, so it has been rubbed a few times, so that could account for the scar-like stuff on the inside.  So I decided to google abnormal moles.  One of the red flags is an itching mole!? This particular mole got red and itched intensely about three years ago for a few days, but it went away on its own, so I didn't think anything of it.  If I had known that was a warning sign I would've taken it much more seriously!  Anyway, I showed my GP, she said it didn't look bad to her but that I should see a dermatologist since I am fair skinned and light haired, just to get a once over and make sure all is well( I'm 28 yrs old, by the way).  Well, I made the appt, but they didn have any until May 27th! So my question is this: should I wait until then? I am pretty freaked out that the itching was a sign of bad things to come and it's just been sitting there all that time, possibly leaking bad cells. I even called another hospital, they didn't have any until June. Has anyone had an itchy mole that wasn't melanoma?

Where are you from with waiting times that long?

Central PA, about two hours NE of the Philly area.

The lesion you describe could be seborrheic keratosis; they are quite common and it is often difficult to tell them apart from melanoma.

You are correct to think that you should have any changing mole immediately checked by a dermatologist experienced with melanoma, that includes a mole that starts itching. So you are doing right to make that appointment. However, I, too, have to wonder why it would take so long to get in to see the doctor. I would call the dermatologist's office again and say that you have mole that really looks like it could be melanoma. Tell them that you need a brief appointment with the doctor ASAP and see what they say. If they don't have anything within 2 or 3 weeks, I would find another dermatologist who is EXPERIENCED WITH MELANOMA.

Changing and itching moles are a concern.  However, if it hasn't continued to itch and/or change in the 3 years since the itching episode, I'd probably go with the thought that it had just been irritated by something.  (For me, I wait at least 2 weeks to see if something continues to get WORSE - if not, I ignore and consider it normal).  

It never hurts to have things checked out, but I wouldn't be worrying too much at this point.  The location itself is enough to cause irritation.... and that is also a reason to have it removed.  But I'm not sure it's an emergency to have it removed at this point.  You're aware of what to look for and your GP said it looked ok.  You have a derm appointment upcoming.  To me, that sounds like you're doing everything you should.  I don't think it would be terrible to wait that long, but you have to do what makes YOU the most comfortable.

Best wishes,

Janner

Seborrheic keratosis is common in older folks...not 28 year olds.  Go with Janner.  She offers great advice. Follow-up as you have scheduled.  Getting appointments with specialists takes time.  Your time frame sounds reasonable to me given the circumstances.  Best of luck.  c

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