Plastic Surgery Blog
San francisco - East bay
What Happens During a Mole Removal?
Also known as beauty marks or nevi, skin moles are growths on your skin that can range in color from black or brown to your natural skin tone. Most of them are harmless, appearing anywhere on your mucous membrane or skin, either alone or in clusters.
Also, they are not contagious and should not bleed, itch, or hurt. If you choose not to remove a mole, it can last for decades without causing you any harm. But if you suspect that a mole in your body is abnormal, you need to consult your dermatologist or primary healthcare provider as soon as possible.
When Do Skin Moles Appear?
Skin moles typically appear in early childhood through to early adulthood. The average life cycle of an average mole is 50 years. As you age, the moles on your skin will gradually rise and become lighter in color. In most cases, hair will develop on the mole. Sometimes, however, some moles will gradually disappear over time.
A doctor or dermatologist can identify a mole simply by taking a look at or examining your skin. For peace of mind, you may want to ask your doctor to examine your skin as part of your regular medical exam. If your doctor suspects that one of the moles on your skin may be cancerous, they will take a tissue sample for microscopic examination.
Getting a Mole Removed
You may want to surgically remove a mole that is cancerous or for cosmetic reasons. Whatever the case, the procedure will result in a scar. However, the scar may disappear on its own depending on the type of surgery, your age, and the location of the mole. In rare cases, you will get a more noticeable scar than you would like.
Mole Removal Process
A dermatologist can remove a mole in a single office visit. Sometimes, however, patients may require a second appointment. The two main procedures dermatologists use to remove moles from their patients’ skin are:
- Shave Excision
During this procedure, the dermatologist uses an extremely thin, razor-like tool to meticulously slice the mole. This treatment may also involve the use of a small electrode to carry out electrosurgical feathering. This process aims to blend the surrounding skin with the edges of the wound, minimizing the appearance of the excision.
For this type of mole removal procedure, stitches are not necessary. Your dermatologist will examine your mole under a microscope after the procedure. The purpose of this examination is to determine whether there are any signs of skin cancer.
- Surgical Excision
This is a more invasive mole removal procedure. It involves the removal of the entire mole to the subcutaneous layer of fat. Your dermatologist will then stitch the incision closed and examine the excised mole for cancer cells.
The most important thing you need to remember about removing a mole is to never do it yourself. This is because the risks of bad scarring and infection are too great. Furthermore, you will never know if the mole was cancerous. You might end up leaving cancer cells behind.
To learn more about the mole removal process, visit East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at our office in Oakland, California. You can call 510-451-6950 today to schedule an appointment.