Mole Removal - Mystic, CT
Moles are a common skin condition. Almost every adult has at least one mole or two, while those with fair skin may have upwards of ten or more. The presence of a mole itself should not be a cause of concern. Moles are typically harmless and often do not physically bother a person. However, there are certain moles that do cause problems. At Coastal Dermatology, we provide medical dermatology services to address common skin conditions such as unwanted or suspicious moles. If a mole is bothering a patient, or if there is reason to believe that the mole may be cancerous, our doctors offer safe mole removal to our Mystic, CT patients.
When to Treat Moles
In the majority of cases, moles actually do not require any treatment. Again, the mere presence of a mole (or several) is not an indication that there is a problem. It is actually perfectly normal for individuals to have several moles throughout the body. However, there are cases in which mole removal is beneficial to the patient. Typically, mole removal is recommended in any of the following situations:
- The mole is in a location that causes it to bother the patient (for instance, it rubs uncomfortably against clothing or other body parts)
- The patient believes the mole is unattractive
- The mole is suspected of being a sign of melanoma, or skin cancer
Recognizing Cancerous Moles
If a patient has any concern about the appearance of a mole, it is important to schedule an appointment with an experienced dermatologist so that the mole can be thoroughly examined. However, it is a good idea to understand the characteristics that are typically warning signs that a mole may actually be a symptom of melanoma. When examining a mole for melanoma, patients should consider the following factors:
- Asymmetry: A healthy mole is generally symmetrical, with both sides of the mole looking about the same. A mole that is asymmetrical, with one side noticeably different than the other, may be an indication of skin cancer.
- Border: An uneven or undefined border is another potential sign of skin cancer.
- Color: Normal moles are usually one color. If a mole has varied shades of color, it is a good ideal to have it examined by a dermatologist.
- Diameter: While moles do vary in size, those that are larger in size (bigger in diameter than a pencil eraser) are more likely to be cancerous.
- Evolving: Consistency is the best sign that a mole is healthy. It is important to monitor any moles that are present on the body so that changes can be reported to a dermatologist.
The Mole Removal Procedure
If there is any reason to remove a mole, our doctors can perform a safe procedure that is comfortable for the patient. There are two techniques that are commonly used for mole removal. The first is a surgical incision. During this procedure, an incision is made so that the entire mole can be cut out and removed. After removal, the surrounding skin will be sutured shut. This technique is typically used when cancer is suspected. After removal, the mole is sent to a laboratory where it is tested for cancer.
When mole removal is strictly for aesthetic purposes, or due to skin irritation, a surgical shave may be performed. This technique involves using a surgical blade to remove, or “shave off” the mole from the surface of the skin.
Patients generally recover from either of these procedures very quickly. The skin should heal easily, leaving hardly any sign that a mole was ever present. If a mole does grow back after recovery, it is important to report this to the doctor as soon as possible, as it is likely a sign of melanoma.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are concerned about the health or appearance of a mole, the doctors at Coastal Dermatology can help. Schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience to have your mole examined and discuss the possibility of mole removal.