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Can I get a mole removed?


Posted by Be Well

Can I get a mole removed?
 
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Removal of a mole often depends on the size and location on the body.

Most doctors will refer you to a dermatologist (skin specialist).

Moles that are in a place where they are likely to get damaged, such as the shaving area on the face, may be removed to avoid irritation and further harm to the mole.

How is a mole removed?

Some doctors will be able to remove moles using a local anesthetic. This means that you will be awake during removal, but the affected area will be numb.

There are several ways a mole can be removed, such as:

  • Freezing it with a liquid gas.
  • Shaving the mole close to the skin using a surgical blade.
  • Using a chemical, like salicylic acid.
  • Punch biopsy, using an instrument like an apple corer to remove the mole.
  • Surgery, where a margin of healthy skin around the mole is also removed to avoid the risk of a possible melanoma affecting neighboring skin.

Aftercare

Generally, the larger a mole is, the harder it is to remove. Removal may leave a scar once the wound has healed. Moles on the face are treated very carefully to ensure scarring is kept to a minimum.

Once a mole has been removed, it should be protected by using a sunscreen that has SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or above for at least six months afterwards. The higher the SPF, the more protection you will have from sunburn and the sun's damaging UVA and UVB rays.

It is also vital that the wound site is kept clean and covered to avoid infection while it heals.

Keeping an eye on your moles

Monitoring moles is very important because they can change shape and color. This could be the sign of a melanoma (skin cancer) forming.

Look out for changes in your mole, such as:

  • getting bigger,
  • bleeding,
  • changing shape,
  • itching, or
  • changing color or becoming patchy.

If a mole shows any of these signs, see your doctor immediately.

Further information:

Malignant melanoma

Cancer of the skin

Moles

Local anesthetic

NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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