Doctor, dermatologist, hands examines a birthmark of patient. Checking benign moles

Doctor, dermatologist, hands examines a birthmark of patient. Checking benign moles

What is a Skin Mole?

Made up of a group of cells referred to as melanocytes, skin moles are a common concern for many people. Although they are often harmless, some moles are cancerous and may be life threatening. Moles are usually brown, but can also be black, pink or skin colored. Typically oval or round shaped, skin moles can be flat or raised. Normal moles should not be larger than the size of a pencil eraser.

Surgical Mole Removal

Skin mole removal is advised for moles that grow too large, and for other types of dangerous moles. Moles removal is also often desired for aesthetic reasons. If you have a rough mole, an itchy mole, or some other type of bothersome mole, having it examined by a skin doctor is recommended. It is also advised to have the moles on your skin checked periodically. A dermatologist is qualified to detect any signs of abnormality or changes in moles, in order to prevent the development or spreading of melanoma. Surgical mole removal is a simple preventative procedure that can make a big difference in your health.

What to Watch For

The moles that are of medical concern are those which look different than other existing moles or those that are changing. If you notice changes in a mole’s color, height, size or shape, you should have a dermatologist evaluate it. Also, if you have moles that bleed, ooze, itch, appear scaly or become tender or painful, have your moles checked by a medical provider experienced in skin conditions.

Examine your skin or ask someone to help you, and pay special attention to areas of your skin exposed to the sun, including your hands, arms, chest, neck, face and ears.

The A, B, C’s of questionable moles

  • Asymmetry — half of the mole does not match the other half
  • Border — edges or borders of the mole are ragged, blurred or irregular
  • Color — is not the same throughout and/or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red
  • Diameter — is larger than the eraser on a pencil
  • Evolving — changing in size, shape, or color

If your dermatologist believes a mole needs to be evaluated further a small tissue sample will be taken of the mole. A biopsy, examining thin sections of the tissue under a microscope, will be performed, and/ or the mole may be removed in its entirety. If the mole is found to be cancerous, then the dermatologist will remove the entire mole and check the margins around it to make sure it’s clear, then stitch or suture the wound closed.