Moles are skin growths that are darker than the surrounding skin. They are common and are not generally a problem. But moles can sometimes cause problems. In certain cases, a type of skin cancer called melanoma can grow in or near the mole. In other cases, a mole may be bothersome. In either case, removal of a problem mole can be done.
Your surgeon's may do a mole excision for one or more reasons:
- Part or all of a suspicious mole may be removed to check it for cancer.
- A mole that is constantly rubbed by clothing or irritated in other ways may be removed to help make you more comfortable.
- A mole that is large or on a visible body part can be removed for cosmetic reasons.
Removing a mole is often done in the healthcare provider’s office. You usually go home the same day.
- The area is cleaned. It is then injected with medicine (anesthetic) to numb it.
- The provider cuts out the mole. He or she may also remove a certain amount of healthy tissue around the mole to make sure the margins are clear of any dangerous cells.
- If needed, the incision may be closed with sutures or staples.
- Infection of the incision
- Keloid or too much scar tissue forms
- Pain in the area
- Recurrence of the mole
To help protect yourself from skin cancer:
- Check your skin regularly for changes in your moles and new moles.
- See your healthcare provider if you have a mole that bleeds, itches, or changes in size, color, or shape.
- If you have many moles or have a family history of skin cancer, have your healthcare provider have moles checked
- Use clothing and sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from the sun.
- Never use tanning beds.
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