Mole Removal: What to Expect

Almost everyone has moles. While they can be inconveniently located and a bit unattractive, most are completely harmless. We are rarely born with them most moles develop between the day we’re born and about age 20. Some moles appear as a result of sun exposure, but these are much less common than the moles that appear due to genetics.

Moles have a bad reputation, probably worse than they deserve. They are often less than attractive, but they are rarely harmful. There are, however, several things to look for — signs that a mole is less-than-friendly.

When Should I Have a Mole Removed?

There are two reasons to have a mole removed. The first is cosmetic you may just not like how the mole looks. The second reason is that the mole may be malignant there are a few characteristics to look for. If you have a mole that displays any of the following symptoms, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible:

  • Irregular or asymmetrical shape
  • Varied color or multi-colored
  • Large diameter (more that ¼ inch in diameter)
  • Changing size or shape
  • Irritated (hurts, itches, or bleeds)
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How Do I Choose a Mole Removal Dermatologist?

There are lots of dermatologists out there. How do you choose the best one? Of course, you can do plenty of research online. However, if you’re reading consumer reviews, you have no idea who the people are who are writing them. Probably the best way to get a suggestion, or at least a couple names, would be to talk to your trusted family doctor.

Either way, you don’t have to simply rely on someone’s word. Credentials are important, feel free to come right out and ask the doctor. If they’re good doctors, they’ll tell you without feeling offended. You’re looking for a dermatologist who is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Board certified dermatologists go through much more dermatology-specific training than other medical doctors.

Most importantly, you want a doctor with whom you’re comfortable, and who is genuinely interested in you. Don’t stick around if they act like they’re rushing the appointment or not listening to what you have to say. Also, avoid doctors who act like they’re selling you something.

Mole Removal Procedure

There are two common procedures for mole removal. Both procedures begin with an anesthetic. The mole is then shaved to the level or just below the level of the skin. The first process, called Excision with Cauterization uses a solution or an electrical instrument to cauterize the area. In the second procedure, Excision with Stitches, the cut tends to be a bit deeper and stitches are used to close the wound.

Does the Procedure Hurt?

Both procedures are relatively painless. The doctor uses an anesthetic to numb the pain during the procedure, and after the procedure it feels about like having a regular cut. You’ll need to clean it and change the bandage for the first few days, but after that it should heal nicely on its own. 

Will It Leave a Scar?

Any type of skin trauma has the potential to leave a scar. However, most mole removals leave a scar so small that it will be barely noticeable.

Almost everyone has moles, usually between 10 and 40 of them. Most are completely harmless. Some, however may be unsightly or dangerous and should be removed. The procedure is quick and easy when performed by an experienced dermatologist.

Mole Removal in Utah

Contact Trueskin Dermatology today to schedule your examination. We’ll be able to tell you if you have any moles that look suspect and what should be done about them.