Beauty Marks, Moles & Melanoma

Our skin serves a number of important roles throughout development and life. The most obvious role is as a “container” that surrounds all of our insides. The skin also serves as a filter and protective shield, most notably protecting us from the sun’s UV rays, to a certain extent. The skin can change over time, however, and although some changes are natural, others are not. Doctors take notice of certain changes in the skin as indicators of illness or other problem. When a problem is detected, early treatment can yield very positive results.

Common Skin Conditions & Changes

Fibroids – Fibroids are benign lesions that develop in the skin. These are usually flat nodules, with a flesh-color, and can easily be removed. Fibroids often form where skin has a crease in it, such as around the neck, armpit, and eyelids. These are sometimes referred to as “skin tags”.

Atheromas or Subcutaneous Cysts – Atheromas are caused by blockage in subcutaneous glands. These cysts may be somewhat mobile under the skin, and irritating or painful, though generally benign. Removal is highly recommended.

Warts – Warts are caused by a virus (HPV, Human Papillomavirus) and are another benign skin growth. They typically develop as brown or brownish-black, flat growths on the skin. They can feel tougher than the surrounding skin but are generally easy to remove. If there is any question as to the benignity of the wart, a histological examination can be conduction on the removed tissue.

Basal Cell Carcinoma – Also referred to as BCC or (white) skin cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that is associated primarily with sun exposure. This type of skin cancer generally occurs in older patients (60+ years) and is found most often on the nose, face, forehead, temples, and ears; approximately 80% of Basal Cell Carcinoma cases involve the head and neck.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is considered malignant, due to its tendency to affect surrounding tissue, but it rarely metastasizes (spreads to other organs) so it is sometimes referred to as being semi-malignant. Basal Cell Carcinoma can produce unsightly changes to the facial skin if left untreated, but prognosis is excellent in patients that receive treatment.

Beauty Marks, Moles, Liver Spots & Age Spots – Many people are born with beauty marks that never change or pose a problem throughout their life. As we age, our skin can develop age spots, also known as liver spots, which are generally lighter in color than moles and beauty marks. Birthmarks can be similar to these age spots.

When assessing these regular skin occurrences, doctors around the globe follow a standard guide known as the ABCDE Rule.

If the skin mark matches two or more criteria from the ABCDE Rule, it should be removed (and usually examined). Additional criteria (EFG) are added to the more serious occurrences.


ABCDE Rule

Asymmetry: If you draw an imaginary line through the center of the mark, mole, or other growth, and the two halves do not match as a reflection, the mark or growth is asymmetric and should be assessed.

Borders: If the borders surrounding the growth, mark, or mole are not smooth, or if they are very ragged and uneven, it should be assessed.

Color: Multi-colored marks, moles, and growths should be assessed. When the color is primarily one shade of brown or tan, and it does not meet any other criteria listed, then it is usually nothing to worry about.

Diameter: The overall siye of the growth, mark, or mole is another consideration. Marks that are larger than ¼” or 6mm should be assessed. Marks that are smaller than 6mm or ¼” but that meet other criteria should still be assessed.

Evolving Over Time: ANY CHANGES to the marks, moles, or growths should be assessed by a doctor. Changes can be in the size, shape, color, texture, or any other changes noticed. If the mark, mole, or growth begins to feel itchy, flaky, crusty, or starts to bleed, it should be seen by a physician immediately.

moles1

Additional Criteria

Elevated Above the Skin Surface: Marks, moles, and growths that are felt as elevated above the skin surface should be assessed, especially if they are newly developed or have changed over time.

Firm to the Touch: If the mark, mole, or growth feels very firm to the touch, different from the rest of the skin, it should be assessed, as well.

Growing: Any growth in size, thickness, or other changes to the mark, mole, or skin growth should be assessed immediately.


Is it Expensive to Remove Skin Growths and Moles?

When a suspicious skin growth, lesion, or other mark is present, it is highly recommended that the growth or mark be removed. This is a recommendation seen as universal, worldwide throughout the medical profession. For this reason, the removal of potential skin issues is usually covered by health/medical insurance. For many patients, the procedures are able to be completed on an outpatient-basis, requiring no hospital stay only follow-up visits to ensure things heal properly.

For our MetLife patients, the procedure would have to be covered by Tricare in most cases involving the skin so prior approval is generally needed.


We have performed over 10,000 surgical operations since 1999 in our state of the art Böblingen clinic, and with our experience and authority in the field we are fully qualified to offer screenings, assessments, information, and treatment options.

We will also provide information regarding the potential risks associated with skin growths, skin cancers, and related conditions.

Know you are in the best of hands with Praxis & Klinik in Böblingen.


Additional Resources

Skin Cancer Foundation

British Skin Cancer Foundation

American Melanoma Foundation

%d bloggers like this: