Moles

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Are moles harmful?

Moles can appear anywhere on the body. Though most moles are brown, they come in a variety of colors, such as black, pink or red. Moles can be round or oval shaped, and flat, raised or smooth. Typically, most moles are smaller than the width of a pencil eraser.

Though most moles are harmless and require no treatment, some can become cancerous. If your dermatologist determines that a mole is cancerous, he/she will remove it and some surrounding tissue. There are two ways to remove a mole; surgical excision or surgical shave.

If you notice any changes, consult your primary doctor or a dermatologist.

What does a mole removal entail?

We offer many different mole removal services.

  • We can excise, or cut, your mole off using a scalpel. The skin is closed using sutures.
  • During a surgical shave, the dermatologist will numb the area surrounding the mole, and cut around and under the mole using a small blade. This method is generally used for small moles, and sutures are not needed.
  • On smaller, not-as-deeply-rooted moles, we can use a laser to remove them.

The best way to tell if a mole could potentially become cancerous is to examine your skin carefully each month for changes in color, shape and diameter of the mole. If your mole has un-even edges or you notice it is growing in size, please visit the office to have it biopsied. If your mole is non-cancerous, there is no need to remove it other than aesthetic purposes.

As a parent, what should I know about moles on children?

Children can and usually will develop moles as they get older. As the child grows, typically the moles will grow, too. Sometimes a mole will darken, and other moles can lighten with age. For children, moles are typically not a warning sign of skin cancer, so do not be alarmed if you child develops a mole.