Moles develop after accumulation of the melanocyte cells that give color to the body. Almost all people have moles all over their body. If there is change in shape of moles or bleeding observed in moles, a medical practitioner should be consulted. It is fairly safe to remove moles in most cases.
Most moles are totally harmless, but examination by doctor is advised when there is suspicion over them. Moles can also be removed for aesthetical reasons. The procedure will be painless whether the mole is removed through a surgical excision or shaving. After the removal procedure, patient may experience a burning or stinging feeling around the regions for several days.
How Procedure is Performed?
In mole removal surgery, practitioner shaves or plucks a mole from skin. The surgery is generally performed by medical doctors specialized in dermatology. The procedure is brief and relatively complication-free. Patients will be discharged shortly after the procedure. The operation is performed either due to cosmetic reasons or skin cancer treatment.
Definition of Mole
Mole ore nevus develop in childhood or adolescence. They have various forms as they range in color such as pink, brown or black. People with darker hair or skin tend to have dark colored moles than people with fairer skin tone. Moles can be flat or hanging on the surface of skin.
By the time a person reaches adulthood, it is normal for him or her to have about 10 to 40 moles. Some moles grow in size slowly or might go away over time. Most of the moles are harmless but it is advised to see a doctor when they change in size or color. It is also a suspicious condition if they become itchy or bleed.
In some cases, moles can be a symptom of skin cancer or precursor to it. In such cases, it is recommended to visit doctor when moles are itching, bleeding or changing in appearance.
Why Nevus is Removed?
It is only atypical moles that are required to be removed on face, neck, torso or anywhere in the body. Your doctor will advise to pluck an atypical mole in order to closely examine it to see if it is cancerous or precancerous. A biopsy procedure is performed by doctor for that purpose. It will be deemed to a successful treatment if the healthcare provider is able to remove the mole and give a smooth appearance on face. This also means an achievement in the sense that the skin cancer development is prevented timely.
There are also aesthetical reasons to remove a mole. If you are uncomfortable with the appearance of nevus, it can be also deemed to a sufficient factor to have nevus removal procedure. But the doctor should find it safe first to perform a nevus removal surgery.
When to Consult Doctor about Moles
Most of the moles are not harmful to overall health and do not require removal. But it is advised to check moles on your body regularly and be watchful on any changes. Contact your healthcare provider if your nevus shows below signs:
· Is itchy or painful
· Has bleeds or discharges
· Changes shape or size
· Has losing its uniform view
· Pops up after age of 30
Which Moles Should Be Removed?
Most of the moles are harmless and thus do not require treatment. But if they cause discomfort and aesthetic concern for person, it can be a reasonable ground to have a mole removal surgery. In such cases, consult with your doctor about your concerns. The healthcare provider will approve surgery over aesthetic factors or health concerns.
Removal of Atypical Moles
The ordinary moles are round, flat or slightly bumpy. They are even in color or remain in the same size over time. Atypical moles have different properties and can be detected by doctor through examination and biopsy. In the latter cases, doctor will suggest to run tests and perform a surgery if the tests are indicating cancer (malignant moles).
Aesthetic Mole Removal
You might be either born with a mole or have it over time. But you have a dissatisfaction with its appearance. If you have discomfort over its look, consult a dermatologist over your feelings. Do not consider removing it at home. Otherwise you will run risk of causing more severe problems such as cancer. Getting a mole removal by a competent medical doctor is a secure way of attaining a healthy and natural look.
Mole Removal Procedure
After you and your doctor decide to go for a removal procedure, your skin will be inspected. The pictures of moles will be taken for before-after comparison. Doctor could also use a dermoscope to closely examine the mole and determine the best way to remove it.
The areas on skin will be marked by healthcare provider to ascertain the removal sites. These areas will be cleansed before the surgery. A desensitizing effect will be sustained on skin with the help of local anesthesia. A topical substance will be applied or an injection will be administered at the surgical site. Sometimes, both methods can be applied.
Moles can be removed by two main methods: surgical excision and shave excision. The methods depend on the type of the case and will be determined by healthcare provider. As with all surgical procedures, there are risks and benefits of both types of nevus removal procedures. Discuss with your dermatologist about which procedural method is suitable for you.
Surgical excision is a common method for mole removal. After cleansing and desensitizing the target area, the healthcare provider will isolate the mole from the rest of skin with the help of a scalpel. Depending on the type of mole, a small proportion of healthy skin is also removed to ensure that all of the atypical cells are extracted. Afterwards, using forceps to pick and pull the segment, the mole is removed. Bleeding is normal reaction by the body, and doctor will apply pressure to the region or burn (cauterize) it to stop the bleeding. Finally, the surgical area will be stitched.
Another common method for nevus removal is shave excision. The healthcare provider may be able to extract a mole by shaving instead of cutting. Shave excision can allow to extract a sample of tissue for analysis, and people are generally satisfied with the results after healing. But shave excision isn’t preferred when deep tumor margins are looked for. In addition, it is not useful for differentiating between different types of skin cancer.
For shave excision mole removal, the healthcare provider utilizes a single or double-bladed razor to vigilantly shave the bumpy growth to level the area with the skin around it. Healthcare provider might lightly burn (cauterize) the region around the removed mole to enhance the appearance of any scar after recovery.
However, the moles erased by shave incision are somewhat more likely to develop again than moles removed by surgical excision.
Lasers or Other Possible Methods of Mole Removal?
Although some healthcare providers have made use of lasers, electric current (cautery) or liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) to extract moles in the past, these techniques aren’t proved to be safe. Using these methods means prevents healthcare provider to take sample from mole to determine what sort of mole it is. Furthermore, moles are more likely to recur after these treatments. Sometimes, benign moles that are removed after nonsurgical removal might turn out to have features of skin cancer.
Process After Procedure
After removal of mole, your healthcare provider will apply Vaseline to the surgery area and wrap with bandage. The surgical area should be kept moist (with jelly) for several days and should be kept clean.
Advantages of Surgical Mole Removal?
The main advantage and benefit of having a mole removal procedure is that doctor will be able to run tests to ascertain if the mole is skin cancer. If you require treatment for skin cancer beyond mole removal, a subsequent treatment will be initiated. In this way, the chances of cancer spread (metastasize) to other body parts are reduced to almost zero. In addition, many people who have mole removal procedures are satisfied with how they look after recovery.
Risks or Complications of This Procedure?
When your healthcare provider removes a mole in the clinic, it will be a fairly low-risk procedure. But similar to any procedures, there are some risks. Risks of nevus removal procedures are as follows:
· Scars (though not noticeable)
· Damage to nerves
· Recurrence of moles
Recovery period depends on patient’s overall health and the size of the removed mole. It’ll take around two to three weeks to fully recover from mole removal. During this period, patient can do daily activities, but may experience a little soreness. To support healing process and prevent infection, patient should follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on wound care.
Mole removal aftercare
Following mole removal, patient will have a wound that should be kept clean, moist and covered. Patient should change the dressing every day or as instructed by the healthcare provider. After patient recovers fully, he or she has to apply sunscreen to the area when it’s exposed to sun.
Return to Work/School
Most of the mole removal surgeries are brief outpatient procedures. Patient will be able to drive himself home after the surgery and return to work or school right after it.
Post Follow-Up After Surgery
After the removal of nevus, keep the surgery area regularly to monitor changes that might indicate problems in recovery process. Call your healthcare provider when you have below experience:
· Occurrence of bleeding on surgical area
· Appearance of redness or swelling
· Dissatisfaction with the appearance after healing
· Recurrence of mole
Is Mole Removal Painful?
You don’t need to worry about feeling of pain during surgery as the surgeon will use several numbing medications (anesthetic) to avoid pain during mole removal. Some mole removal procedures can be performed by applying only topical (on top of your skin) anesthetic, but your healthcare provider may also inject medications like lidocaine to prevent your discomfort. You may feel stinging or burning in the area for several days after nevus removal.
Can I Remove a Mole Myself?
Don’t try to pluck moles yourself. Although you can buy products marketed as mole removal pens or lasers — or might decide to shave or cut your mole off yourself — you shouldn’t attempt for it due to a few important reasons:
· It might cause cancer.
· You might not remove the whole mole.
· Home lasers can cause the skin cells look like cancer even if they’re not.
· Infection might be caused
· You might have a significant scar.
Dermatologists are specially educated to perform skin surgeries like nevus removal. They’ll perform it securely, run diagnostic tests and you’ll be much satisfied with your appearance after recovery than if you’d attempted to remove it yourself.
Can Moles Be Removed Permanently?
Most moles are removed by doctors permanently. But some moles might develop again. If you have a mole removed and it comes back after healing, contact your dermatologist immediately.
Last Note for Mole Removal Surgeries
Mole removal is a brief, safe and relatively complication-free procedure that your healthcare provider may advise to safely remove suspicious moles. Nevus removal can also be done for aesthetic reasons — just don’t do it at home! Your healthcare provider will cleanse and desensitize the area before shaving or removing the mole. After mole removal, you may have some stinging and burning feeling for several days. Be sure that you are following the healthcare provider’s instructions for mole removal aftercare, and call doctor if you have any concerning symptoms.