Moles are a growth on skin that can develop anywhere on the body.
Moles can vary from pale to dark brown and are typically raised from the skin. Any large, irregular, or bleeding mole should be checked by your surgeon.
People can have between 10 to 40 moles on their body. They are usually harmless but can sometimes become cancerous.
A mole is a group of skin cells usually brown or black that can appear anywhere on your body. They usually occurs before age 20. Most are benign, which means they’re not cancerous.
If you have a history for skin cancer in family or have higher exposure to UV rays especially if you have fair skin type.
An easy way to remember the signs of melanoma is the ABCDEs of melanoma:
- Asymmetry in shape
- Irregular borders
- Colour changes
- Increase in diameter
- Evolution of a mole’s characteristics, be it size, shape, color, elevation, bleeding, itching, or crusting.
Your surgeon can send the sample from mole to a laboratory for detail examination before surgery or after mole removal which is known as biopsy.
If result is positive, meaning it is cancerous, the entire mole and area around it need to be removed to get rid of the dangerous cells.
Mole removal is a generally a simple procedure. Normally mole removal can be done in clinic, or a hospital outpatient center.
Mole removal is generally done in either ways:
- Surgical excision.
Surgical excision is a preferred method for mole removal. The surgeon will numb the entire area. The scalpel blade is used to cut out the mole and followed by carefully stitching skin in various layers
- Surgical shave.
This is done routinely for smaller moles. Your surgeon will use a small blade to shave off the mole and some tissue beneath it. Stitches aren’t always needed for smaller mole.
- Use of a laser to remove moles is not usually recommended however it can be used in extremely superficial mole.
Deep mole removal through laser can cause unpleasant scar and inadequate removal.
Lasers energy burns the mole, which cannot be sent for testing to make sure it’s not cancerous. Only in safe and specific case your doctor can suggest for laser.
Possible infection is a risk factor in any sort of surgery.
Regrowth of mole possible if not properly removed especially using laser or shaving off in deep seated moles.
Scarring of tissue is another factor which is dependent on your healing and location of mole.
Recovery from mole removal is simple and pleasant. You can get back to work in couple of hours if needed. There can be minor swelling in some which generally last 2 to 3 days.
It is advised to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully for quick recovery.
Sutures are generally removed on the face in 5 -7 days.
With careful excision, the scar almost always looks much better than the mole. It will take a few weeks to as long as a year for the scar to completely heal and look it’s best.
Mole removal is typically permanent if removed completely, your mole should not usually return.
However, when some tissue is left behind with a mole that is shaved off it can sometimes regenerate.
Mole reduction can be done in certain cases, but long-term results aren’t very predictable.
A large mole which is protruding can typically be shaved down, but it could regrow to its original size.
It depending upon your insurance plan and necessity for for mole removal.
Generally insurance is covered if there are sign of skin cancer or requires removal on medical basis.