What is a Mole?
Moles, or nevi, are common skin lesions that grow on the skin. They can be black, brown, blue, red, pink, colorless, or flesh-colored. They can appear alone or in clusters. Moles tend to grow throughout the first 20 years of life. By adulthood, it is normal to have around 10-40 moles.
Nevi often change in color and in the degree to which they rise above the skin; others may not change at all. Most moles are benign and do not cause pain unless they are bumped or rubbed against. Moles are usually round, can have hair, and are just a few millimeters in size.
What Causes a Mole?
Acquired moles form when skin cells, known as melanocytes, are not thoroughly spread throughout the skin and are instead clustered together in a small area.
Often, hormonal changes such as the ones that occur during adolescence and pregnancy can cause moles to appear; these changes can also cause current moles to change color and size. Additionally, exposure to the sun will also darken moles.
1 in every 100 people is born with a mole; these nevi are known as congenital moles and increase the risk of developing melanoma.
What is an Atypical Mole (Atypical Nevi)?
Moles that rapidly change in shapes or sizes, often itch, or bleed, are atypical and are often indicative of the skin cancer known as melanoma.
Melanoma and atypical moles can be indicated by being multiple colors, being oddly shaped or asymmetrical, having poorly defined borders, and being larger than 6 mm.
Having more than 50 moles puts patients at risk of melanoma.
It is imperative that patients with moles undergo annual check-ups; if caught early, melanoma can be cured.
How to Remove a Mole
There are various methods that can be used to remove a mole. If any of the procedures are expected to cause the patient pain, then the doctor will numb the area with an anesthetic before he or she begins; if bleeding occurs, an anti-bleeding medicine can also be administered.
Afterwards, an antibiotic cream or ointment and a bandage can be added to prevent any scars or marks. If the doctor believes that a mole is cancerous he will send it to a lab for a biopsy.
Surgical Excision – Nevi can be removed using a scalpel or surgical scissors. If a mole extends underneath the skin then a deeper cut may be required to ensure that it does not grow back.
Surgical Shave – Certain nevi can be shaved to be even with the skin.
Freezing – Liquid nitrogen can be sprayed or swabbed onto a mole that rises from the skin. While this may cause a temporary blister to form, it will heal completely.
Burning – A mole can also be burned off through the use of a wire emitting electrical currents. The currents cause the wire to heat up and allow the upper layers of skin to be burned off. Using this method will often require multiple sessions; however, cauterization will keep bleeding to a minimum.
Home remedy mole removal through the use of nail clippers, lotions, or pastes should be avoided. These methods can lead to scarring, bleeding, and infection. Nevi that are not removed properly face a high probability of returning. Additionally, removal of nevi by a professionally trained doctor allows for a proper analysis of melanoma or skin cancer.
Mole Removal in Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County:
- Mole Removal in and near Anaheim
- Mole Removal in and near Colton
- Mole Removal in and near Corona
- Mole Removal in and near Garden Grove
- Mole Removal in and near Irwindale
- Mole Removal in and near La Mirada
- Mole Removal in and near Long Beach
- Mole Removal in and near Los Angeles
- Mole Removal in and near Ontario
- Mole Removal in and near Perris
- Mole Removal in and near Temecula
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