Moles are a very common cluster of cells that usually appear on the body as black or brown. Many adults have moles and people with a lighter skin tone generally have more than people who have a darker skin tone.
Most of these moles are non-cancerous, however, some moles may be pre-malignant, meaning that they have the capability of turning cancerous in the future.
Did you know?
Many people believe you can simply remove a mole at home, however, this is not recommended. First off, you should visit your doctor to establish if the mole is cancerous. While the ABCDE guidelines may help, ultimately these are just guidelines and do not represent a thorough, medical diagnosis. The only person who can truly determine if a mole is cancerous and perform the necessary treatment is a doctor. Secondly, a doctor can perform the procedure correctly, painlessly, and quickly ensuring that you get the best results with minimal scarring.
Overall, mole removal is a quick, effective, and relatively painless procedure. It is a great way to remove unwanted moles and is sometimes a necessity to prevent skin cancer from spreading. Whatever your reasoning, Dr. Allen can assist you with finding the procedure that is right for you. Come in today and we’ll get you mole free!
Before and After Photos
How can I tell if a mole is cancerous?
An easy way to determine whether a mole is cancerous or not is to refer to the ABCDE’s of moles. A stands for asymmetry. If one half of the mole is different from the other half, this may be cause for concern. B is for the border. If the border of the mole is irregular or poorly defined, it may be cancerous. C represents color. If there are color variations on the mole from one side to another or if the mole appears to be white, red or blue, this may be cause for concern. D is for diameter. Cancerous moles are usually over 6mm, but this is not always the case. Finally, E stands for evolving. If the mole looks different from other moles or is changing in color, size, or shape, this could mean it is cancerous. With or without the ABCDE symptoms, it is always important to always get your moles checked to be sure they are non-cancerous.
How can I get my moles removed?
If there is any history of skin cancer or family history of skin cancer, it is prudent that you see a dermatologist to evaluate your skin lesion. Most often, biopsies are done and tissue sent for review by a pathologist who analyzes the cells under a microscope. A cancerous skin lesion is treated much different than one that is not cancerous. Removal method can be done in one of three ways: destruction, shave excision, or full excision. The method utilized is dependent on the type of mole which is present. The most common method utilized is the shave technique.
While Dr. Allen does offer mole removal, the first step of the process is to send a photo of your mole via our confidential portal. Dr. Allen will review the photo(s) and you will be notified in scheduling a consultation. As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of scarring and every person heals differently.
What is involved in each different procedure?
Each procedure usually involves placement of a local anesthetic and depending on your type of mole is effective. There is minimal soreness and recovery time. The first procedure, destruction, refers to destroying the mole most often with a laser. It may take more than one session for complete removal to reduce risk of scarring. The next procedure, shave excision, is usually used on smaller or raised moles. When using this method, Dr. Allen will shave off the mole and some tissue around and below the lesion. The area will be completely numb during the procedure and stitches are not required. The final method is full excision in which the mole, including tissue around and underneath, is fully excised. This does require sutures which are typically removed at a follow up visit. Usually a linear scar is evident and can be expected following this type of removal.