What to Know About Moles
How do you know if you need mole removal? The answer can be a trick one. Many people have numerous moles of varying shapes and sizes on their bodies. Most of the time a mole is just a benign pigmented lesion on the skin, but it is extremely difficult to know if your mole is suspicious or could potentially lead to problems in the future. Having a board-certified dermatologist examine your mole to determine if you need mole removal is imperative. Regardless, it is often ideal for people to have their moles removed. Many of our patients have moles in places that are cosmetically not ideal for them..
Moles and Skin Cancer
There is an increased risk of skin cancer for those who do not remove their moles. A mole can change color, shape or texture, which are all warning signs, and you may not even realize it. Skin cancer is 100% preventable, as long as you are smart about seeing the dermatologist for regular skin cancer screenings. It’s also important to check your skin at home. Know your ABCDEs of skin cancer. The letter “A” is for asymmetry (when the mole differs than the other half), “B” is for border (an irregular border), “C” is for color variation (a change in color), “D” is for diameter (if a mole is larger than 6mm), and “E” is for evolving (any mole that has changed shape, size or color should be evaluated by a dermatologist).
Mole Removal Methods
The board-certified dermatologists at Schweiger Dermatology have received specialized training in mole surgery and mole removal. As soon as it has been determined that your mole needs to be removed, our physicians will talk to you about the various options for mole removal. One of the easiest methods of removing a mole is with a technique called excision, which is “shaving” the mole off with a scalpel either flush to the skin or right below it. Directly after excision, your dermatologist will send the mole to the laboratory to determine if it is precancerous or benign. The area is cauterized to stop the bleeding. Laser mole removal is another method that is used, but since the laser destroys the pigment, this method is not recommended unless the mole has already been determined to be benign. It is important to have the mole sent in for pathology prior to laser removal, to make sure the mole is not cancerous.