Mole Removal

Mole Removal

Moles are collections of pigment cells that nest in the skin, and there are many reasons for mole removal. These nested pigment cells appear darker than the surrounding skin and therefore leave a mark. Moles can be present at birth or can be acquired during one’s life. Moles can be benign or malignant. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, presents itself through the appearance of atypical, cancerous moles. Melanomas are fatal if left untreated.

Annual Skin Checks and Self-Checks

It’s important to see a doctor quickly if you suspect a mole is cancerous or pre-cancerous. The problem is that many people don’t know the signs of potential malignancy in a mole. You may have moles that have been on your body since childhood that change over time but aren’t malignant. You may also have moles that suddenly appear but seem harmless.

While your annual skin check with a dermatologist will help catch potential skin problems, you should also perform self-checks regularly. Using the ABCDE system, you can determine whether a mole may need attention before your next annual skin check.

ABCDE Mole Check

The ABCDE mole check simply requires you to check for five potential signs of mole malignancy or abnormality:

  • Asymmetry – Imagine drawing a line down the center of the mole. Would each side of the mole look different or about the same? If the sides would have different shapes or sizes, you may need to have the mole checked.
  • Border – Are the outer edges of the mole circular and consistent? Or are they jagged or otherwise irregular? Healthy moles are clearly defined from the surrounding skin while abnormal moles often appear to bleed off into the surrounding skin with less defined borders.
  • Color – If your mole has more than one color or changes color, you may have an abnormal mole that needs medical attention.
  • Diameter – Is your mole larger than the eraser on the end of a standard pencil? If so, it may need attention. The same is true if you notice it growing in depth or width.
  • Evolution – Any noticeable change in a mole may require more thorough evaluation from a doctor.

If you discover a mole that concerns you after completing the ABCDE check, it’s time to find a doctor qualified to perform “mole removal near me.” Derick Dermatology proudly serves the Chicagoland area.

Mole Removal Methods

There are several methods that a dermatologist may use to remove a mole. Some methods involve shaving for surface removal while others require complete excision of the mole and its roots to ensure no abnormal skin cells remain on your body.

Some of the removal methods used today include:

  • A scalpel is used to remove the mole. Your dermatologist will apply a numbing agent then use a scalpel to cut around the mole for complete removal. Stitches are needed to close the wound. You may have a scar once the wound heals.
  • The mole is shaved from the skin using a sharp tool similar to a razor blade. You may notice a small indent in the skin where the mole once occupied space. You shouldn’t require stitches with this removal method.
  • A circular tool is placed over the mole and then punches it out of the skin. This method is often used to remove a small portion of a mole for biopsy. It may completely remove smaller moles as well, which can save you from a second removal process if a biopsy reveals malignancy or other abnormalities.

The removal method used by your dermatologist depends on the nature of your mole and your doctor’s concern. Removal methods that don’t require cutting into the skin are less likely to lead to infection, so discuss these options with your dermatologist if you need to have a mole removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are mole biopsies sometimes necessary?

A biopsy is a procedure designed to collect a sample of tissue for further testing. If a doctor suspects that a mole is malignant, they will perform a biopsy and send the tissue sample to a laboratory for testing. If the test confirms that the skin cells in the sample are malignant, your doctor will discuss methods of removing the mole to prevent the spread of cancerous skin cells.

If a mole biopsy reveals that a mole is benign, you may not need to remove the mole for medical purposes.

Can removed moles grow back larger?

Having a mole removed will not make it grow back larger. If you notice a removed mole growing back, you should see your doctor immediately. It’s possible that some of the original mole’s skin cells were left after the mole removal procedure. Your doctor will need to assess the regrowth to determine the best course of action.

While it’s possible that mole regrowth is due to malignant skin cells, that isn’t always the case. Consulting with a doctor will give you access to the appropriate testing.

If you’re looking for a dermatologist qualified to perform “mole removal near me” or have other questions regarding the removal process, contact Derick Dermatology today.

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DERICK DERMATOLOGY

Derick Dermatology is a leading authority in medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatological services with 14 stunning Chicagoland dermatology locations. Our dedicated dermatologists offer exceptional dermatological services for both adult and pediatric patients. Please complete our online form or call our main number at (847) 381-8899 to schedule a consultation.