Mole Removal Bend, OR

What are moles?

Moles are pigmented growths on the skin that occur when melanocytes, or pigmented skin cells, develop in clusters. Moles are very common and come up at different developmental stages in the person’s life, usually until the age of 40. After this, most tend to fade away. Atypical moles are those that appear to be unusual or different from all the other moles the person has. These moles are called dysplastic nevi, and are more likely to develop into some type of skin cancer if left undiagnosed and untreated. Doctors recommend getting your moles checked if they appear different, grow larger, or change in color in contrast to other moles on your body.

What is the relationship of moles and skin cancer?

Normally, patients should not be overly worried about the appearance of moles. But it is also important to know that melanoma, a type of skin cancer, can develop in or near an atypical mole. If it is found early and treated accordingly, melanoma is known to be curable. Knowing the difference between a normal mole and a melanoma could help save your life.

  • Moles are generally of one color, often brown, but can also be pink, tan, black, red, blue, or skin-toned. The color of a single melanoma is different from one area to another.
  • Moles are generally round in shape, while melanomas are irregular, usually asymmetrical in shape with, possibly, a poorly defined border.
  • Some moles are able to change very slowly over time with the possibility of disappearing when the person gets older. Melanomas look different from the rest of the moles evident on the person’s skin, often changing in size, shape, and color.
  • Most moles typically do not grow to the size of a pencil eraser. On the other hand, melanomas can grow bigger in diameter as time passes.

How are moles treated?

Most moles do not require any sort of treatment, but dermatologists recommend the removal of those that bother the patient, are unattractive, or show signs of potential skin cancer. To remove the mole, dermatologists will use either a surgical excision or a surgical shave. Surgical excision involves cutting out the entire mole and stitching the skin closed afterwards. If it is suspected of containing cancer, the excised mole can be sent to a laboratory for a comprehensive biopsy. A surgical shave, on the other hand, is when a dermatologist removes the mole directly from the skin using a surgical blade. The patient is advised to never try shaving off the mole at home because if it has cancer, some of the cancer cells may stay in the skin and spread. Without proper medical supervision, the wound may get infected and disfigure the skin of the patient.

What is the outcome of mole treatment?

Once the mole is removed, the skin will heal naturally. If, after this, the mole grows back, immediately see your dermatologist because this is a sign of melanoma.