Moles (nevi) are a common type of skin growth. They often appear as small, dark brown spots and are caused by clusters of pigment-forming cells (melanocytes). Most people have 10 to 40 moles that appear during childhood and adolescence and may change in appearance or fade over time.
Most moles are harmless. Rarely, they become cancerous. Being aware of changes in your moles and other pigmented patches is important to detecting skin cancer, especially malignant melanoma.
For excision of the mole, the surgeon uses a scalpel to cut the mole and a border of good skin surrounding it. Shaving removes the protruding surface of the mole, but it can leave mole cells beneath the skin and may grow back. Mole removal typically takes less than an hour to perform, depending on the amount of moles to be removed.
The risks associated with mole removal also depend upon the technique used. What is the dermatologist level of experience in performing mole removal? In addition, it is important that mole removal patients relay to their dermatologist information regarding any allergies and serious medical conditions they may have.
Moles are extremely common and come in various colors, sizes, and appearances: pink, brown, flat, or raised. The foremost priority is to ensure that moles or skin lesions are benign by having them checked by a board certified dermatologist.
Fortunately, most moles are harmless and do not need to be treated. Some moles, however, can be unsightly and distracting. In these situations, mole removal may provide improved appearance, confidence, and well-being.
Am I a good candidate for mole removal?
You are a good candidate for mole removal if you have:
a benign mole that has been evaluated by a dermatologist
a mole which bothers you and detracts from your appearance
What happens during the initial consultation for mole removal?
evaluate the size, colour, and appearance of the mole
assess your skin type and discuss options for removal, including surgical excision, shaving, or scraping
carefully assess the location of the mole and its close proximity to importance facial structures such as your nostrils, lips, and eyes
What happens during the mole removal?
In the office, the mole is injected with local anesthetic to numb the area. Various treatment modalities may be used.
surgical excision will completely remove the mole requires placing tiny stitches to repair the area from which the mole was excised
shaving will remove the raised part of the mole
electrodessication will burn off small, raised moles
scraping will remove some of the superficial layers of the mole
What is the recovery like?
There is very little downtime associated with a mole removal. Most patients return to work the same day.
With certain procedures, such as electrodessication and shaving, a small scab may form on the mole which falls off after a few days.
What will I look like?
There is always a minimal to no scar associated with a mole removal. With surgical excision, the scar may be a faint, thin line which improves over time. Patients who are bothered by the appearance of their moles find that a faint scar is a worthwhile trade-off for a cosmetically unappealing mole.