Moles are very common and frequently benign. In some cases, however, they can become bothersome or dangerous, in which case you need to get them removed. William Gillen, MD, Patricia O'Connor, MD, and the team of providers at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center offer safe and comfortable mole removal for their patients in Glen Allen and Chesterfield, Virginia. To schedule your mole removal, call the Richmond-area office nearest you, or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
A mole (or nevus) is a common growth on your skin made up of nests of melanocytes. Most people think of moles as brown, but they can also be red, pink, and flesh-colored, and in some cases, they have hairs that grow from them. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean the mole is more or less dangerous.
Moles are typically benign, but they can occasionally become atypical or frankly cancerous over time if they incur insults like damage from UV exposure or radiation. It’s important to have your moles regularly monitored by a dermatologist to ensure that they remain normal and healthy. If you have a mole that becomes irregular, your dermatologist might suggest biopsying it to test for melanoma or removing it, or both.
There are a few reasons why you might need to remove a mole. In most cases, it’s because your dermatologist suspects that a mole might be dangerous – either melanoma or atypical enough to become a melanoma. Some people, however, choose to remove moles for cosmetic reasons, or because they have a mole in an uncomfortable location.
You should maintain an annual skin cancer screening with the team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, during which time your doctor examines your body for any suspicious moles they might need to remove.
In some cases, though, you might want your dermatologist to check on a mole before it’s time for your annual skin checkup. Remember your ABCs and schedule a visit immediately if you have any new or rapidly growing moles or moles that:
Your dermatologist can assess whether or not they need to remove your mole.
Your dermatologist can remove your mole in a single office visit with one of two methods:
In a shave excision, your dermatologist uses a thin, razor-like tool to remove the mole off of your skin after numbing the area with local anesthesia.
Afterward, they might use a special tool with a tiny electrode to electrosurgically feather the skin around the removed mole. This feathering helps reduce scarring by blending the edges of the wound with the surrounding skin.
In a surgical excision, your dermatologist will anesthetize the area and use a scalpel to cut through the skin to the subcutaneous fat layer to remove your mole. The defect that is created from this removal is closed using stitches.
In both surgical excision and a shave excision, your mole will be examined under a microscope after its removal, to check for signs of cancer or atypia.
Schedule your mole removal with Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center today by calling the nearest office, or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
References and Resources: