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Often, your child's pediatrician can check for suspicious moles or lesions during routine visits.
Your child should see a pediatric dermatologist at least once per year if you find any of the following melanoma risk factors:
The above factors may mean your child is at a greater risk of forming atypical moles, skin cancer, or melanoma.
Since we can't control our genetics, sun protection is the best way to decrease your and your child’s risks of melanoma.
The American Academy of Pediatrics urges that babies under 6 months avoid direct sun exposure on their skin by dressing in:
If clothing doesn't shade all of your baby's skin, apply sunscreen to the small exposed areas (face, tops of hands).
Most moles in children are benign, but they can pose a future risk of skin cancer.
Along with your child's thorough yearly exam by a dermatologist, you should do your own monthly skin exams.
Check your child’s skin for any moles that meet the “ABCDE” screening guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology. They can help you look for suspicious moles on your child and decide if you should see a doctor.
When it comes to melanoma, it's best to err on the side of caution. If you find any moles on your child's skin that cause concern, call the dermatologists at Children's right away.
Most experts agree that the “E” for “evolving” is the single most important sign of a worrisome mole. Parents should follow the “ugly duckling” rule. Have a doctor check any mole that doesn’t look like the rest.
Along with changes in color or size, have your child's derm check any mole that's causing symptoms such as:
Abnormal moles in children can also be red or even look like a wart.
Although experts say "D" is a less serious factor in detecting melanoma, you should not ignore a mole's diameter. Many melanomas can start as lesions that are much smaller than a pencil eraser.
If your child has an odd-looking or changing mole — even if it's small — call our pediatric dermatologists right away for an appointment.
Many kids wear one- or two-piece swimsuits under their clothes so they don’t feel self-conscious or “naked” during their visit.
Anything you can do to make this visit easier on your child is well worth your while. It will help them form stress-free routines and feel less anxious about their yearly mole checks.
Teach them healthy habits now, at a young age, that they'll keep for the rest of their lives.
Melanoma is the most common form of skin cancer in children. Diagnosing and treating kids with melanoma and atypical moles requires an expert team with special training in this area.
That's why Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has formed a specific Pediatric Melanoma Center. Our melanoma experts approach each child individually to provide the best advice and care we can.
Welcome the summer season knowing your child's skin is healthy.
When it comes to moles and skin cancer, it may someday make the difference between life and death.
Call 724-933-9190 or securely email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment for a complete mole check or to discuss any other skin problems.
Learn more about the Pediatric Melanoma Center.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
For questions about a hospital bill call:
To pay your bill online, please visit UPMC's online bill payment system.
Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.