How Do Dermatologists Remove Moles?

Moles are areas of dark, pigmented skin. They're often raised, and they can vary in size. Some people find the appearance of moles undesirable. Removing moles yourself can put you at risk for infection and scarring. If you're bothered by the appearance of a mole, make an appointment with your dermatologist. Among the other services they offer, dermatologists can also perform mole removal procedures. Here are three different methods dermatologists can use to remove moles from your skin.

1. Liquid Nitrogen

If your mole is small, your dermatologist may choose to treat it with liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen has the unique property of being very cold, even in room temperature conditions. For this removal method, your doctor will apply a small amount of liquid nitrogen to your mole. The low temperature will freeze the skin, causing cellular damage. Over the next week or two, your skin will scab over, and your mole will fall off. You'll need to keep the area clean and bandaged during this time.

2. Surgical Excision

Larger moles can be removed through surgical excision. This minor surgery is performed using anesthetic shots to numb the treatment area. Your doctor will use a scalpel to cut the mole out of your skin. Once the mole has been removed, your dermatologist will close the wound with stitches. Self-absorbing stitches are often used to avoid the need for suture removal in the future. If your doctor suspects the mole might be cancerous, they will have it sent to a lab for testing.

3. Shave Excision

Shave excision is similar to surgical incision. During this procedure, your doctor will administer local anesthetic to the area. Once you're suitably numbed, they will remove the mole in layers by shaving it away from your skin with a sharp blade. Moles removed by shave excision can also be tested for the presence of cancer. Some dermatologists choose shave excision when removing facial moles because it may be less likely to scar. Moles removed by shave excision may rarely grow back, but the potential for this can be minimized through cauterization.

If you have a mole that bothers you, speak to your dermatologist about mole removal, especially if you're concerned that your mole may be cancerous. Dermatologists can use careful techniques to minimize scarring and leave you with smooth, beautiful skin. Your doctor will choose the right method of mole removal for you based on the size and placement of your mole.

To learn more, contact a resource like the Midwest  Dermatology Clinic PC.