What are moles?
Moles are growths commonly occurring over skin. Most of the moles are harmless in nature. Rarely they can be cancerous in which case they need to be urgently removed.
Why and which moles should be removed?
Moles can be removed because of cosmetic purpose especially if the patient doesn’t like its appearance. Suspicious moles should be immediately excised and sent for histopathology. Suspicious moles are identified on the basis of asymmetry, irregular boundary, varying color, diameter of >6mm and evolution as in change in size, color and texture.
Any suspicious mole should be evaluated by a dermatologist and can get histopathology done to rule out melanoma.
What are the methods used to remove mole?
Mole removal can be done via various methods:
- Radiofrequency ablation: it uses radiofrequency waves to carefully burn the mole.
- Laser ablation: this uses laser bean to remove the mole.
- Excision: scalpel or punch is used to remove the mole and sutures are applied. It is useful for large and deep moles.
- Shaving: It uses shaving blade to shave off the mole. It is used for superficial moles.
- Freezing: This uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the mole.
Your dermatologist can best guide you about the best method for treatment of mole.
What is the procedure of mole removal?
It is an office-based procedure. After cleaning the mole with antiseptic, numbing cream is applied or numbing injection is given underneath the mole. After that it is removed with the help of cautery or laser or blade. Antiseptic dressing is applied if required. Oral antibiotics are prescribed if required.
What are after care instructions after mole removal?
Patient should apply antibiotic ointment regularly over the treated area as prescribed by the treating dermatologist. Keep the area clean. Avoid excessive sun exposure. Follow the instructions provided to you by dermatologist.
What are the risks of mole removal?
Risks are minimal in the hands of a trained dermatologist. Patients can commonly experience pain, redness and swelling. There is risk of scarring especially if mole is deep. Scarring can be minimized by dermatologist who will choose the best method of treatment based on the type of mole.
Why you should avoid home treatments for mole removal?
There is risk of scarring because of various mole removal creams. They can cause excessive inflammation over the skin and cause large area of pigmentation and scarring which looks worse than the mole. There is increased risk of infection and some of the chemicals or oils used for mole removal can cause irritant or allergic contact dermatitis over the skin.
Patient can miss the diagnosis of cancerous mole and delay in treatment is there which leads to spread of cancer.