Treatments and drugsBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Treatment of most moles usually isn't necessary. If your doctor thinks a mole is suspicious, he or she may take a tissue sample of it and have it tested to determine if it's cancerous.
If your mole is cancerous, your doctor will do a surgical procedure to remove it. If you have a mole in the beard area, 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.
Mole removal takes only a short time and is usually done on an outpatient basis. The procedure may leave a permanent scar. Options for mole removal include:
- Surgical excision. In this method, your doctor numbs the area around the mole and cuts out the mole and a surrounding margin of healthy skin with a scalpel or a sharp punch device. Then he or she closes the wound with sutures.
- Surgical shave. In this method, your doctor numbs the area around the mole and uses a small blade to cut around and beneath it. This technique is often used for smaller moles and doesn't require sutures.
If you notice that a mole has grown back, see your doctor promptly.
If you're self-conscious about a mole, these methods may help conceal it:
- Makeup. Various products are available for concealing blemishes and moles. You may need to try several before you find one that works for you.
- Hair removal. If you have a hair growing from a mole, you might try clipping it close to the skin's surface or plucking it. Or talk with your dermatologist about permanently removing 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, 2014
- Moles. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/moles.html. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Argenziano G, et al. Twenty nevi on the arms: A simple rule to identify patients younger than 50 years of age at higher risk for melanoma. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2014;23:458.
- Wise J. Number of moles could predict breast cancer risk. BMJ. 2014;348:g3739. http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g3739.full.print? Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=392. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Prevention guidelines. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 19, 2014.
- What does a mole look like? National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/prevention/skin/molephotos. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Common moles, dysplastic nevi, and risk of melanoma. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/moles. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Hawryluk EB, et al. Pediatric melanoma, moles, and sun safety. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2014;61:279.
- Sunscreens. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens#.UbdQaJzm9lP. Accessed Nov. 20, 2014.
- FDA sheds light on sunscreens. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm258416.htm. Accessed Nov. 20, 2014.
- Moles in children: What parents should know. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/moles_children.html. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- What you need to know about melanoma and other skin cancers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/skin. Accessed Sept. 12, 2014.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 12, 2014.
- 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.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 12, 2014.
- Skin examinations. SkinCancerNet. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/skin_examinations.html. Accessed Sept. 12, 2014.