Treatment of most moles usually isn't necessary. If your doctor determines that your mole is suspicious for any reason, he or she will take a tissue sample of the mole to determine if it's cancerous.
If your doctor finds a mole to be cancerous, the entire mole and a margin of normal tissue around it needs to be removed surgically. These procedures are usually performed in the office of your doctor or dermatologist and take only a short time.
- Surgical excision. In this method, your doctor cuts out the mole and a surrounding margin of healthy skin with a scalpel or a sharp punch device. Sutures are used to close the skin.
- Surgical shave. In this method, your doctor numbs the area around a mole and then uses a small blade to cut around and beneath the mole. This technique is often used for smaller moles and doesn't require sutures.
If a mole that's been removed grows back, see your doctor promptly. If you have a mole in a beard, you may want to have it removed by your doctor because shaving over it repeatedly may cause irritation. You may also want to have moles removed from other parts of your body that are vulnerable to trauma and friction.
These methods may help conceal moles if you're self-conscious:
- Makeup. If you have a mole that's unattractive, you may choose to cover it up using makeup designed to conceal blemishes and moles.
- Hair removal. If you have a hair growing from a mole, it may be possible to clip it close to the skin's surface. Dermatologists also can permanently remove the hair and the mole.
Anytime you cut or irritate a mole, keep the area clean. See your doctor if the mole doesn't heal.
Dec. 06, 2011
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- What you need to know about moles and dysplastic nevi. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/moles-and-dysplastic-nevi/allpages/print. Accessed Sept. 13,2011.
- Nevi and malignant melanoma. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010.http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Moles in children: What parents should know. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/moles_children.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Clarke LE. Dysplastic nevi. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2011;31:255.
- Step-by-step self-examination. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/step-by-step-self-examination/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Prevention guidelines. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention-guidelines/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
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