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.
"Nice, knowledgeable, but a bit pricey. I've been to see her twice and to see her aesthetician Rachel once. Renee Synder diagnosed a minor skin condition the first time and the second time she removed a number of little skin tags around my eyes that were grossing me out. She did it just with plain scissors and rubbing alcohol, which made me wonder if I could have saved the $$$ and just done it at home, but I'm glad they're gone. The third time I went, I saw her aesthetician and, in a fit of post-breakup mid-life I-don't-know-what, decided to go for the chemical peel/ microdermabrasion combo which set me back about 150 clams. I looked like I had acne and a sunburn for the next 3 days, but now my skin feels baby-butt smooth, and a number of the weird little discolorations on it (that probably only I noticed anyway) seem to have faded. Anyway, if you are feeling vain and have a little money to burn I suggest you check these ladies out. Dr S suggested some really inexpensive over-the-counter wash and treatment for my face which will help help make up for some of the cost, at least. And *I* feel like I look that much more fabulous now, which is really what counts in the end."- L.W. / Yelp / Dec 09, 2007
"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
"Dr. Renee Snyder isn't cold. She's awesome. She has a dry sense of humor that I find hilarious. She puts you at ease with her professional, calm demeanor. The biopsy of my moles barely registered, pain-wise, and it was over quickly. She's very upfront and direct about medical information, and was patient with the questions I had. I wouldn't go anywhere else. Oh, and if you are not a high-maintenance, high-style kinda gal, don't be put off by the fancy office and pretty office staff...they are very helpful and accepting of everyone...makeup and stilettos or not."- S.T. / Yelp / Mar 25, 2012
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.