How Mole Removal Works
Almost everyone has a mole on their body; they’re a little pigmented area of skin that looks like a large freckle and is usually harmless. A mole is typically round or oval with a smooth edge; it can be flat or elevated, and it can feel soft or rough.
Melanocytes, which create the colour or pigment in your skin, form clusters of skin cells that cause moles. The average person has 10 to 40 moles on their body, but if one of them changes it could be malignant.
Early detection of a cancerous mole can save your life. Melanoma patients that are diagnosed early have a 99% 5-year survival rate. If cancer has gone to the lymph nodes, the chances are 66%, and 27% if it has reached distant organs.
Continue reading to learn about how mole removal works.
How To Remove Moles
Under local anaesthetic (this numbs the treated area), moles that protrude from the skin can be ‘shaved’ away. This is typically done with a scalpel and is a reasonably painless and straightforward procedure.
After your doctor has injected a local anaesthetic, which will not only relieve pain but will also cause the mole to rise upwards, making removal easier, they’ll then use a sharp razor to shave the growth off in many horizontal cuts. While the cuts are being made, you may feel a tiny sensitivity, but you should not be in any discomfort.
Your doctor may apply a chemical to your skin after the treatment to prevent bleeding. They’ll next apply a soothing ointment to the area and cover it with a sterile bandage to encourage recovery.
This simple operation is far less invasive than a skin excision because it doesn’t require sutures or stitches. After the mole has been removed, it will be submitted to a laboratory to be thoroughly examined for any abnormalities or malignancies.
You might have some soreness or a burning feeling where the mole was removed, but this is easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. You can also use an antibiotic ointment to speed up the healing process.
Some moles, especially those that are bigger, may require excision. This operation is done with a local anaesthetic and ends with a tiny suture in the skin.
Mole excision, also known as a full-thickness skin excision, removes unsightly moles all the way down to the subcutaneous fat (deepest layer), ensuring that the growth will not return. This operation usually only requires a local anaesthetic, after which the entire mole and a tiny portion of the surrounding skin will be removed, and the mole will be taken away to be examined by specialists in a laboratory.
A modest number of stitches may be required to close the wound, and the region will be bandaged in a sterile bandage. If you’re wondering whether your mole removal may scar, you can read up further on this here.
Unless your job imposes a strain on the stitched area, you should be able to return to work the next day after your surgery. You may then need to return to have your stitches removed, depending on the type of stitches used.
Never try to remove a mole at home. At-home removal methods are not proven to work, and some may be incredibly dangerous.
When Should I Get My Mole Removed?
When should a mole be removed? A few factors must be taken into mind. If your mole has altered, you should consider getting it removed or at the very least have it checked out.
A new or changing mole is the most common indicator of melanoma skin cancer, a type of skin cancer that can spread to other organs in the body. We recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified physician if you have a cancerous mole that needs to be removed. It’s critical to have your mole screened by experts if it exhibits any of the symptoms listed below:
- It has a different shape or appears to be uneven.
- The colour changes, becomes darker or has more than two colours
- Itching, crusting, flaking, or bleeding occurs.
- Increases in size or raises above the surface of the skin.
The answer to the question of whether eliminating moles prevents skin cancer is no. The removal of a mole does not imply that any cancer has been diminished. To lower the risk of skin cancer, precancerous moles may need to be removed. Read more about a mole biopsy here.
Despite the fact that normal moles are completely safe, some people prefer to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. This is an entirely risk-free operation, and your mole will be checked for malignancy as well.
We have a whole blog dedicated to knowing when to get your mole removed, read it here.
- Almost everyone has moles on their body, usually averaging up to 40 moles, but it might be a sign of skin cancer if one of them changes.
- You can get your mole removed via shave removal or excision removal.
- Never try to remove a mole at home.
- You should get your mole removed if it changes shape or colour, or if it becomes itchy and/or flaky.
You can also read our full blog on mole removal aftercare here.
Find your nearest Mole Clinic and arrange a consultation with one of our doctors for advice on how and when to remove your mole(s).
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