Mole Removal

Do you have moles on your body? If so, you have something in common with millions of other Americans living in the world today. When most people think of moles and the mole removal process, they likely aren’t thinking about Marilyn Monroe and her perfect beauty mark.

Instead, they are actually thinking danger! Yes, there are dangerous moles that you need to look out for. In fact, the sign of a mole appearing can actually be an early sign of skin cancer. In which case, mole removal is an absolute must! The good news is that in the event that you need to have a mole removed, you can have it done with minimal scarring if at all.

mole removal processMole Removal And General Mole Background

Moles traditionally are brownish in color and they commonly vary in shape and size. The reason moles tend to be brown is due to melanin. You need to know what to be on the lookout for at all times. If you find an extremely dark colored flat mole on your body then you need to begin to worry.

Don’t panic but these types of moles have a tendency to progress into what’s commonly known as melanoma. If you aren’t familiar with melanoma, it’s a very scary and serious skin cancer. You should also be on the lookout for any type of growth or mole that is blue, red, pink or even colorless. Anything like this is likely to require typical mole removal procedures to take place.

What Is A Mole

A mole, also known as a nevus is considered to be an irregular dark spot on your skin or a red spot on your skin. Dark spots are commonly referred to as birthmarks whereas red spots are commonly referred to as hemangioma.

If you have a scaly spot on your skin, that can be even more concerning. In which case, the condition is known as keratosis and is pre-cancerous. Don’t worry, keratosis spots come much later in life. So, if you see something at a young age that looks a bit┬áscaly, then you should be alarmed enough to want to investigate things.

Some people are born with moles. They may have one to three that they were born with. Other people may have developed moles as they age. Many moles are linked directly to sun exposure. If you’re the type that spends a significant amount of time at the tanning booth then you will want to read this thoroughly.

One thing that I always like to advise is that you become family with your family health history if you’re not already. It’s important to assess the probability of you having to deal with mole issues in your lifetime and whether or not mole removal is in your future. I also like to encourage those with a family history of moles or skin cancer that they are seen by a dermatologist on a regular basis.

Learn About Dangerous Moles

Below you will find a worksheet that was provided by the American Academy of Dermatology. They put this worksheet together to help all individuals understand the various warning signs to look out for. If you have any of these signs, mole removal may be necessary. These warning signs will help you assess dangerous moles and determine whether or not they should be something to worry about. The AAD calls this the ABDCEs of Melanoma.

A stands for asymmetry. You want to be on the lookout for moles where half of the mole looks completely different from the other half.

B stands for the border of the mole. Look for irregular or blurred borders of the mole. If the border is poorly defined then it’s something to worry about.

C stands for color. If color varies from one side to another or if uneven then you should be worried. Look for shades of unusual tans, brown and even black.

D stands for diameter. If a mole becomes bigger than the size of a standard pencil eraser e.g. 6mm then you need to have it checked out immediately.

E stands for evolving. If your mole begins to change shape or grow then be worried. Changing in size, shape or color is not a good thing.

AAD Mole and Skin Cancer Handout
Credit: AAD: American Academy of Dermatology

How Does Mole Removal Take Place

What you first need to understand is that just because you have a mole does not mean it must be removed. Most moles are completely harmless. They will not damage hurt you and they don’t ever change shape or size. However, some people just prefer to have their moles removed just in case they cause damage in the future. In which case, moles can be removed a number of ways.

Some moles can be removed just by cutting them off or having a biopsy. This is when the mole is surgically removed. This removal method does not require stitches. Another mole removal method is to burn the mole off and stitches the biopsy. This method is typically avoided and really depends on the location and depth of the mole itself.

The entire removal procedure is relatively quick and it’s an in-office procedure that requires nothing other than local numbing medication. Once the affected area is numb, a doctor will typically use a scalpel to remove shave off a mole so that it becomes flush with your skin. He or she may then cauterize the wound to prevent excess loss of blood. They will apply a topical ointment known as Polysporin, bandage you up and send you on your way. Simple as that!

Now for moles that are much deeper, any and all suspect tissue is removed and it is often cleaned and stitched. The stitches will be surgically removed at a later date.

You’re probably wondering what happens to the mole that was removed. Do they just throw it out? No, whatever was removed gets sent to a lab for further testing. They assess the severity of the mole and whether or not it’s skin cancer related. In the event that the mole that was removed turns out to be cancer, you will need to schedule a sit-down discussion with your doctor. They will further assess the situation and let you know the next steps to take.

In the event that it is necessary to treat your skin for skin cancer, your doctor will likely present a few suggestions and allow you to decide what they wish to do moving forward.

That is everything you need to know about the mole removal process. In the event that you think you have something wrong with your skin, please get it checked out immediately!

Mole Removal
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