What You Need To Know About Mole Removal

Do you have a mole on your face, neck, or other prominent place? If the pigmented patch makes you feel uncomfortable or affects your confidence level, take a look at what you need to know about mole removal.

Why Choose a Removal Treatment?

There's no one or universal answer to this question. Some patients want to remove their mole (or moles) for cosmetic reasons, while others have health needs.

According to the American Skin Cancer Society, doctors will diagnose more than 100,000 cases of melanoma in 2020. A large, irregular, or changing mole is cause for concern. Even though not all moles are markers of skin cancer, you should always consult with a qualified medical provider if one of these pigmented areas looks odd, changes, grows, has a new color, hurts/itches, or bleeds.

If the dermatologist feels your mole is suspicious or possibly problematic, they may recommend removal. A procedure for medical reasons won't necessarily differ from a cosmetic treatment. Both types of surgery require the removal of a colored or raised patch from the skin's surface (or possibly below).

How Will the Doctor Remove the Mole?

The removal of a mole is never something dermatology patients should do by themselves. Whether you have cosmetic or health-related needs, this is a job for a qualified, licensed medical provider.

A dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon, or other licensed specialist will examine the area and recommend a removal approach. These could include a punch biopsy (like the name implies, the doctor uses a specialized tool to punch out an area of skin around the mole), surgical incision (the surgeon uses a scalpel to remove the mole and the skin around it), or a shave procedure (the doctor shaves off the model with a scalpel).

Will the Removal Require Stitches?

You may need stitches after this type of procedure—especially if you need a punch biopsy and surgical incision removal. A shave removal, unlike deeper surgical procedures, typically won't require stitches.

Will the Doctor Biopsy the Mole?

Even though your mole may not look suspicious, the doctor may still want to send the skin cells to a laboratory for a closer look. This type of biopsy can identify abnormal or cancerous cells. If you do have concerns about the moles appearance or a change, a biopsy may give you a definitive answer. Discuss the need for a lab review and what will happen after you get your results with your doctor.