What are Moles?
Dr. Renee Snyder and her team of board-certified dermatologists offer routine mole checks for patients throughout the greater Austin, TX area. During mole checks, we examine, measure, and document the size, shape, and growth of moles on the body to ensure they are safe and not changing or cancerous. Most people have a mole of some sort on their body. A mole is a growth on the skin that results from a cluster of pigmented cells. They can be brown, black, or a variation of these colors, and can appear alone or in groups. Moles can also be flat or appear as a round bump. While some individuals are born with moles, it is common to develop them later in life and although most are harmless, some can develop into cancer. If you have moles on your body and are unsure of the health of one, or if one becomes bothersome, it is necessary to see a dermatologist, especially if one begins to change in size or shape, or if it itches or bleeds.
"I love Dr. Snyder. She is the most personable, matter of fact doctor I have ever been with. She makes you feel very comfortable and never rushed. I've seen her for easy stuff like skin rashes and a mole biopsy. She did the mole biopsy right then and there and didn't make me come back for another appointment like other doctors have. The whole office is nice, from the front desk to the nurses. Plus they remember you from time to time. Overall a great experience. Her husband advertises in The Chronicle for plastic surgery procedures. They are done in the same office."- F.F. / Yelp / Dec 05, 2011
"I had never been to a dermatologist when I made my appt with Dr Renee Snyder. But after hearing more and more about skin cancer I decided it was time to get my moles checked. I called and found out she was booked a good 3 months in advance for full body screenings. The assistant offered me an appt to come in and get just a few moles looked at. So, I was prepared for a squeezed in appt. My wait time was minimal, 5 or 10 minutes. Dr Snyder checked the moles I was concerned about and ended up checking every mole on my body. It was a quick but very thorough check. She measured a couple big ones and had her assistant write the measurements down. There was one on my back that she said had an "angry border" so she suggested I have it removed and sent to the lab. She gave me a shot to numb the spot, sliced it off in seconds, and put a bandage on. It was painless and quick! She told me to leave the bandage on for 24 hours (no shower) which I did. She told me to put vaseline or aquaphor on it to speed healing and keep a bandage on it until healed. I followed her orders and it mostly healed within a week, completely healed in about 2 weeks. The most painful part was removing that initial bandage! Those bandaids are serious! I would absolutely recommend her again. Yes, I felt a bit rushed but that was absolutely expected and I am glad she was able to squeeze me in."- M.T. / Yelp / Feb 17, 2010
"I have had 2 recent visits to "Snyderma Dermatology." My first appointment was a skin check to look for skin cancer, suspicious moles, etc. I saw the third doctor in the practice, Dr. A (can't remember her full name but she's the only Dr. whose last name isn't Snyder). Great experience, she took a thorough look at my whole body, measured a couple of larger freckles and moles and recommended I return in 6 months to re-measure and make sure the spots aren't growing. We discussed my options around removing a mole on my neck and she was very informative with no pressure. I expressed a desire to learn more about skin care treatments to prevent signs of aging. We talked briefly about some options and she recommended I come in to see Rachel, their aesthetician, for a complimentary visit, where I could learn more about products and procedures. This was fine by me because that is exactly what I wanted. My second visit was scheduled a week later. Rachel was right on time and very friendly. She spent close to an hour with me and was very informative. She wanted to know my concerns and goals and tailored her advice to those. She did not push products or services, and was very open with pricing. I loved my time with her. I purchased several products, which I had intended to do, that's why I came in. I was happy to hear that the soap and sunscreen I buy at Target are good products (yay for saving money there). Couple random notes: Yes, the staff is pretty and glamorous. I would hope so, as they are there to talk about having nice skin. They are also friendly. You do have to pay to park in the garage, this did not faze me. On the topic of Retin-A: yes, you can get a prescription for it. No, your insurance will not pay for it and it will cost you full price, not your prescription co-pay. Insurance will typically only pay for for Retin-A under 2 conditions: 1- you are under 18 and treating acne or 2- you have a Diagnosable skin condition such as Rosacea, and can show that you have tried other, less expensive medications to treat it. There is no way any insurance company is going to pony up the cash to pay for Retin-A for cosmetic reasons. Trust me, I've been down that road many times. So buying a retinol product from the office does not end up being more expensive that Retin-A. Also, Retin-A has a high concentration of retinol and it is better to start at a lower concentration (to see how your skin tolerates it) and work your way up. Great experience, I am planning to go back."- W.H. / Yelp / Jun 16, 2011
"One evening I was getting ready for bed, scratched my back, and came away with blood. I looked in the mirror and saw a mole that looked exactly like all the ones that I'd seen in brochures of what moles aren't supposed to look like. I researched dermatologists, called Dr. Snyder's office, and set up an appointment as soon as possible. Dr. Snyder did a full skin check, confirming that the mole was really funky looking, and did a punch biopsy straight away. Just under a week later I got a phone call from her confirming that it was a melanoma, and we made an appointment for a wide local excision. I had another atypical mole excised a few months post-melanoma surgery, and since then I've had regular skin checks and several biopsies. Dr. Snyder really knows her stuff, and her professional demeanor and ability to answer all of my questions in a straightforward way puts me at ease. She's friendly and nice, but she's more focused on the task at hand than trying to be my bestie. Given most of my appointments with her have involved wearing nothing but a hospital gown and/or being cut open, professionalism and efficiency are key. The office is clean and bright and the staff are super nice. Parking isn't free and there's a bit of a dipsydoodle to get from the parking garage down to the lobby to go up to the 4th floor, but I'm really happy to have found a doctor I can trust."- M.F. / Yelp / May 01, 2012
"I looked around in Dallas and Austin for a dermatologist I could trust and visited a few different doctors before I finally found myself in Dr. Snyder's office. She is the only dermatologist I've found who talks to you like a real person. She understood that I was kind of scared about having weird moles - who isn't scared these days, the way the media totally freaks us out - and she talked me through every procedure. Her office staff were really down to earth too, it is a very nice office but doesn't feel intimidating. I would be comfortable going there with any concerns. Also as a total plus these days, they are completely flexible to helping you figure out insurance.....def not something every office is willing to deal with."- A.C. / Yelp / May 08, 2015
Symptoms of Moles
A typical mole is a brown spot found virtually anywhere on the body, including the fingers, toes, scalp, and even under the fingernails. The most common areas for most to collect are on the trunk or on the back of an individual. Moles can take on various sizes and shapes, and range in color from black, tan, pink, blue or red. In general, moles are about 6 mm or ¼ of an inch in diameter. While most moles are benign, some can be diagnosed as dysplastic, which means it is an active mole and is changing. This change may result in no visible difference in size, shape, or color, or it could turn into a cancerous growth. In some cases, this is known as a melanoma and if not treated, can be life threatening.
Dermatologists recommend that patients watch for any changes to their moles and get mole checks on a regular basis. By using the ABCDE test to determine whether a mole could be cancerous, it is helpful in remembering what to look for. Moles could be cancerous if the following characteristics exhibit change:
- Asymmetrical: They are not even or equal in size when cut in half.
- Borders: They have irregular or scalloped borders.
- Color: They begin to change color or have an uneven color.
- Diameter: They are larger than 6 mm in diameter.
- Evolves: They begin to evolve (grow or change) in color, shape, size or height.
Watch out for a mole that turns either partly or completely black. A patient should call our office immediately if the mole exhibits any of the ABCDE characteristics described above, is painful, oozes, bleeds, burns, itches, or has appeared out of nowhere.
How to Treat Moles
Most moles don’t warrant treatment but if a doctor determines any to be suspicious or cancerous or if a patient complains of discomfort, irritation or cosmetic issues, the doctor may need to remove the mole. In surgical excision, the area around the mole will be locally numbed and a scalpel or similar device is used to remove the mole and some surrounding skin. The wound will then be closed with stitches. Sometimes, if the mole is surface-level, a surgical shave can be performed where the area is locally numbed and a small blade is used to cut all around and beneath the mole. Stitches are not required for this method.
Plan Your Procedure
- 15 minutes
Schedule Your Mole Check!
Whether you have moles that are bothersome or unattractive or ones that are unusual in appearance that could point to a sign of melanoma, it is time to contact our office of specially-trained board certified dermatologists to find out your treatment options. Our office specializes in treating a wide variety of moles from those that are benign to the cancerous ones. If we find any moles to be cancerous, we can treat you from the initial consultation to choosing the right procedure to post-op care. We are committed to providing you with the level of care that you require and deserve.