Almost everyone has moles. A person may have anywhere between ten and 40 moles by the time they reach adulthood. Moles are heavily pigmented clusters of skin cells known as melanocytes, and they can occur on any area of the body. Moles are normally not cause for concern, but some people find them unsightly, and in some cases, they may even become cancerous.
Many people opt to have moles removed due to aesthetic reasons, but a doctor may also suggest having them removed if it is suspected that they could develop into melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. However, no matter your reason for having moles removed, what you can expect from the procedure depends on how they are removed.
This is the most common method of mole removal. Your doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the area and cut the mole out with a scalpel. If the target is a raised mole, just removing the raised portion might be sufficient to improve your appearance or comfort. In some cases, however, your doctor will want to excise the mole in its entirety, including the portion underneath your skin’s surface. To achieve this, an incision is used. If the incision is large enough, the removal site may be closed using sutures or dissolvable stitches. Otherwise, the area is covered with a simple bandage. If the wound was closed with regular stitches, you will need another appointment to have them removed.
A mole may also be removed by shaving it off. As with excision, the area is numbed using a local anesthetic. Your doctor will then use a special instrument to shear off the surface of your mole. This procedure is primarily used on raised moles. Unfortunately, this method will not get rid of the entire mole at its base, so the remaining portion of the mole will leave behind some degree of pigmented skin. This increases the chance that the mole will come back later.
Cauterization is another common way to remove unwanted moles. After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, the doctor will then use an electrical instrument that becomes hot enough to burn the mole, effectively destroying it. This is known as elecrtocauterization. A laser device may also be used to achieve the same result. In some cases, a process called chemical cauterization may be employed. A special solution is placed on the mole after the area is numbed, which chemically burns away the unwanted tissue. The biggest advantages of these methods are that, because no open wound is left, stitches are not necessary.
If you have a mole that needs to be removed, Dr. Stephen Salerno could be able to help. At Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in Moonee Ponds and Werribee, we offer mole removal treatments. We’ll work with you to determine the most effective treatment for your needs. Contact Real Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery today to schedule your consultation.