What Can You do About Your Moles?

mole removalMoles can cause a big nuisance. They can rub on your clothing or cause embarrassment because of where they are located. While most moles are harmless, some of them can develop into an aggressive type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma. That’s why it’s important to know about the different types of moles and how they can be removed.

Three Different Types of Moles

Most moles are benign or non-cancerous. It’s very common to have several moles on your body.

Here are three common mole types:

Skin Tags

These are small growths that generally form because of friction. They are usually found on places like the collar bone or under the arm where clothes rub against the area. They are usually skin-colored but may also be darker in color.

Flat Moles

A flat mole is considered to be a dark spot or irregularity in the skin.

Raised Moles

These moles can be a variety of colors. They run deeper into the dermal layers of the skin than flat moles.

The A, B, C’s of Suspicious Moles

Most moles aren’t anything to worry about. But you should be aware of the moles you have in case they change. If a mole suddenly changes color or shape, then you should have a dermatologist look at it. Also, pay close attention to any moles that may bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly, or that become painful. These are also signs that you should see a doctor about your mole.

Here are the A,B,C’s to consider when questioning about your moles:

  • Asymmetry – Does half of your mole not match the other half?
  • Border – Are the edges or borders of your mole ragged, blurred, or irregular?
  • Color – Is the shade the same throughout? Are there shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red?
  • Diameter – Is the size larger than an eraser on a pencil?
  • Evolving – Is the size, shape, or color changing?

When to be Concerned?

Moles don’t typically cause serious health concerns, but they need to be monitored for melanoma. If you have any of the changes in the A, B, C’s we listed above, then you should contact the dermatologist to have the mole examined.

The American Academy of Dermatology says that if you have more than fifty common moles, or at least several atypical moles, then you should perform a monthly self-examine and see a dermatologist at least once a year.

Mole Diagnosis

Your doctor will identify the type of mole you have by examining your skin. During the exam, your doctor will inspect your skin from head to toe. If your doctor thinks a mole may be cancerous, then they may take a biopsy to examine the tissue under the microscope.

There are three main types of skin biopsies:

  • Shave biopsy – A tool similar to a razor will take off the top layer of the skin.
  • Punch biopsy – A doctor will use a circular tool to remove a small section of the skin. This will remove some of the deeper levels.
  • Excisional biopsy – A doctor will use a small knife to remove the entire lump or area.

Procedures for Mole Removal

You can typically have a mole removal on the face or another part of the body during a quick outpatient procedure. A local anesthesia will be used to numb the area before the mole is removed. Keep in mind, a mole removal scar may appear and end up being permanent.

These are the three-mole removal procedures used:

  1. Shave Excision

This process is used to shave several layers of the mole off so that it is down to the surface of the skin. A dermal loop electrode may also be used during this procedure to feather the edges to prevent future scarring. This mole removal cost is up to $500 and causes very little, if any, downtime.

  1. Punch Excision

This is used to remove moles that are deeper than the surface of the skin. The device will punch a hole into the skin to penetrate below the mole. The circular part of the skin is taken out, and the hole is sutured and bandaged. This will only work on moles no more than 8 mm in diameter.

  1. Surgical Excision

A mole that is greater than 8 mm will need this procedure. This is the most invasive type of mole removal procedure and is used to remove moles with irregular borders that penetrate deep into the skin.

Benefits of Removing Your Mole

There are several benefits to having your mole removed. You will have better cosmetic results, more confidence in your appearance, be more comfortable in your clothing without having to worry about a mole rubbing, and just have an overall peace-of-mind knowing the lesion is gone.

Keep in mind, if you’re removing a mole for cosmetic reasons, insurance may not pay for it. If the mole is being removed because it looks suspicious, insurance may cover at least a portion of the procedure.

Get Your Pesky Moles Removed at Winston Salem Dermatology

If you are ready to have your mole removed, then we are ready to help you! We are your specialists in skincare. Call us today so we can examine your mole and figure out the laser mole removal or other dermatology services for removal options that are available. We will work hard to make sure you have smooth, even skin in no time. Call us at (336) 774-8636.