Moles – medically referred to as a nevus or nevi if multiples are common – most of us have ten or more on our bodies. The majority are harmless, but some skin cancers are very similar in appearance, and moles can be a precursor of skin cancer. In other situations, benign moles may present a cosmetic or comfort concern. The doctors at Associates in Dermatology provide mole removal and biopsy services at their offices in Westlake, Middleburg Heights, and Lorain, OH.
Surgical skin mole removal
In an internet search, you can find all sorts of tips for “how to remove moles.” The effectiveness of DIY methods is questionable at best and could result in significant scarring, infection and unwanted side effects.
There is no need to be apprehensive about having the procedure done professionally. Raised mole removal is a straightforward, outpatient treatment that typically takes an hour or less:
- The mole is photographed, measured, and mapped.
- The skin is cleansed.
A numbingmedication is injected. You feel only a quick pinch. Otherwise, the procedure is pain-free.
- The dermatologist uses a scalpel to shave the mole from the surface of the skin. Some additional tissue beneath and around the mole may also be removed.
- Usually, the site requires only sterile dressing. In the case of a larger mole or deeper excision, a few sutures may be placed.
- The surgical team explains how to keep the site clean, and restrictions on physical exercise (if any).
- You may return to work, school, or light activities after your appointment.
At Associates in Dermatology, mole treatment generally includes biopsy. Even if you want to remove moles for cosmetic reasons, precautionary analysis avoids the risk of overlooking a cancerous lesion. The biopsy is usually performed on-site.
Recovering from a mole removal procedure in Westlake, OH
Any residual discomfort following mole removal can generally be managed with over-the-counter analgesics. The site may feel tender or itchy for a few days, as it heals. If you have stitches, they are removed in about two weeks. As with any surgery, there is the possibility of scarring or a slight change in skin appearance in the treatment area.
What about laser mole removal?
In some cases, small, flat, benign moles, or pigmented lesions can be removed with the laser. However, this is not a common practice. Since laser energy essentially vaporizes the mole, a biopsy cannot be performed on the specimen. Therefore, laser removal of moles is not usually recommended.
For mole removal with your appearance and health in mind, call Associates in Dermatology at (440) 482-8323.