Mole Removal Surgery

Mole Removal Surgery
 
 

A mole is an area of skin in which skin cells called melanocytes have come together. These skin cells produce the melanin pigment, which is why skin looks much darker when they -have grouped themselves together. Moles can range from a shade or two darker than “normal” skin to a deep brown-black shade and may be either flat or raised up. In some cases, a mole may have hair emerging from it.

Different types of moles

While moles may look very similar to one another, there are several types of moles. These include:

Congenital moles: Congenital moles are present at birth and are likely to get bigger and more raised up with age. They are usually at least 1 cm in size and can be much larger than this.

Atypical moles: Medically known as dysplastic nevi, atypical moles are often larger than other moles. They are often an irregular shape, have an irregular border, color variations and  a lack of symmetry.

Why do moles occur?
Moles are often the result of spending time in the sun. They can also occur after hormonal changes such as during pregnancy and around puberty. Dysplastic nevi are thought to run in families. If members of your family have lots of moles, there is a good chance that you will also develop them and this is more likely if you have had lots of exposure to the sun or tanning beds since you were young.

Are they dangerous?

Most moles are not dangerous, although they can become cancerous further down the line. For example, dysplastic nevi can develop into melanoma ( a type of skin cancer) and moles that are very raised up and hairy can become cancerous, especially if they are also large. Because of this possibility, moles should be examined regularly for changes in symmetry, borders, color, size and general appearance. Moles that bleed, itch, hurt or crusts over can also be a cause for concern.

How can they be diagnosed?

The first step involves an examination and a general discussion about why the mole is causing distress. If the mole looks particularly suspicious, a biopsy may be ordered to get a better picture of whether it may be cancerous. For this, a small piece of tissue will be removed and sent to a laboratory for further analysis. Treatment will depend on the result of this biopsy.

Can they be removed?

If a mole shows signs of being cancerous, the recommendation will be to have it cut out of the skin. This may also be done as a precautionary measure before an official diagnosis has been made. As well as being removed for health reasons, moles can also be removed because they look unsightly or are becoming annoying (for example, if they are catching on clothes). In this situation, it will not always be necessary to remove the full mole. For example, it may be that just the top layer will be taken off or it may be necessary to remove more skin and tissue.

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