Many of us have moles that we’ve lived with our whole lives. In fact, these spots are often considered beauty marks. But occasionally a mole will need to be removed because there’s a risk of it developing into cancer. In other cases, patients seek out mole removal because of cosmetic concerns or because the mole is in the way. If you need to have one to be removed, go to Mole Removal Pittsburgh at Prizant Dermatology in PA, we can help you determine the best mole removal.
Moles are essentially clusters of pigmented cells that develop on the skin’s surface, and most can be quickly and easily removed during a simple, in-office treatment. There are three different types of moles that can form on the body, and we can safely remove each type.
What Is the Best Way to Get Mole Removal?
The best way to have a mole removed depends on the size and type of the mole as well as its location on the body. We’ll evaluate your mole, determine whether there is any concern that it might be cancerous, and likely recommend one of three commonly used methods for removal. Each of these methods involves a simple, painless treatment, and we’ll carefully explain the entire process to you before beginning.
If excision is recommended for your mole, that means we’ll be using a scalpel or surgical scissors to cut the mole off of the body. The process typically involves the removal of a small amount of surrounding skin as well. If the mole is particularly large or penetrates deep below the surface of the skin, we may need to close the area with a stitch or two. Moles that are removed in this way can then be sent to a lab for testing, particularly if there is concern that the mole is cancerous.
Excision is one of the most traditional approaches to removing moles, and the skin is numbed before beginning. You may feel slight pressure on your skin as the excision is being performed, but you won’t experience any discomfort.
Freezing off moles with a quick blast of liquid nitrogen is another way to remove them. Freezing is a particularly good option if the mole is thin and not deeply rooted in the body. This is a relatively straightforward approach that causes the mole to disintegrate. The process is very quick and easy, and treatment is often over before a patient realizes it has begun.
Shaving down a mole is another option. This approach involves a scalpel, but rather than excising the mole from the body, the mole is shaved down. One of the advantages of this approach is that the skin is left intact. Shaving treatments are performed after the treatment area has been numbed. The patient may feel light pressure as the mole is being shaved, but there will be no pain or discomfort.
Does Mole Removal Require a Follow-Up Appointment?
Pittsburgh mole removal is a one-and-done treatment that requires no follow-up. This type of removal is minimally invasive and the healing time is usually swift. The only time follow-up might be required is if there is concern about the mole being cancerous. In these cases, we may schedule a follow-up appointment with you to discuss your lab results and any subsequent treatments.
On rare occasions when a large mole was removed and the site required stitches, we may also recommend a follow-up appointment so that we can remove the stitches and check in on how the site is healing.
Should I Take Special Precautions After My Mole Is Removed?
Your specific after-treatment care will depend on which removal method was performed. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need before you leave our practice, but generally, the site where the mole was removed should stay bandaged for at least several days. Keeping that area dry and covered will facilitate your recovery. If stitches were involved in your mole removal treatment, you’ll be asked to apply antibiotic ointment to the site. Keep in mind that it’s natural for the skin in the treatment area to scab over after the mole is removed, and it will be important for you to let that scab fall off on its own.
Types of Moles Removed at Mole Removal Pittsburgh Clinic
It’s easy to think of moles as all being alike, especially since many of them are a similar shade of dark brown, but there are three different types of moles that form on the body. Our office can quickly and easily remove each type of mole.
Congenital moles are present on the body at birth and are, in fact, sometimes referred to as birthmarks. These moles can be found in all sizes, but they are frequently round or oval, slightly raised, and sometimes have hair growing out of them. Congenital moles usually don’t represent a medical risk.
Acquired moles, also called common moles, are the moles that develop on the body as a patient progresses through life. Like congenital moles, acquired moles are usually oval or round and may have hair growing from them. Acquired moles can be either smooth or rough, and they usually don’t pose a medical risk on their own.
Atypical moles are a little more unusual in appearance. These moles, which most often develop on the trunk, are often oddly shaped and may have multiple colors. It’s also not unusual for an atypical mole to have a pebbly surface. Atypical moles mimic some of the symptoms of melanoma, and they can sometimes develop into cancerous lesions themselves. That’s why patients with atypical moles should be especially vigilant about seeking out regular skin cancer screenings.
When Should I Consider Having a Mole Removed?
Moles are very common, particularly on individuals with fair skin, but most moles post no medical concern and don’t bother the patient at all. In fact, many adults have between 10 and 40 moles on their bodies that have developed as a result of both sun exposure of genetics.
Despite the prevalence of moles and the fact that many are completely harmless, there are a number of reasons why a patient may consider having a mole removed. Some patients seek out removal on their own because they are bothered by the cosmetic appearance of the mole, particularly if it’s on the face or neck. Patients also may find that a mole on the face or neck is prone to irritation because it frequently catches in jewelry or is easily nicked when shaving. In other cases, moles are removed because there is concern that it could develop into a cancerous lesion, or may already be an active skin cancer site.
When Should I Be Medically Concerned About a Mole?
Any time a new mole develops, particularly if it develops after your twentieth birthday, it’s worth having it checked out by a dermatologist. Sometimes new moles are purely genetic and nothing to be concerned about. But new moles can also develop as a result of sun exposure, and they may need to be screened to determine whether or not they are a form of skin cancer.
The ABCDE method can also be a helpful way of knowing what red flags you should be watching for in terms of your moles. If you find a mole on your body that hasn’t been evaluated by a dermatologist but meets one of these characteristics, it’s probably a good idea to schedule time with your doctor. And if you have moles with these characteristics, your physician will likely recommend regular screenings so that your skin can be monitored over time.
A for Asymmetry
Asymmetric moles are those in which one half doesn’t match the other half.
B for Borders That Are Irregular
Do you have moles with edges that are irregular or notched? Or perhaps the border of the mole appears blurred or poorly defined? Moles with irregular borders should also be carefully watched over time.
C for Color Variations
Color variations in moles should also be watched for. Do you have a mole that’s greenish in one part, but fades to tan, or maybe black? If your mole isn’t a consistent dark color, it’s probably a mole that you should have checked out by a dermatologist.
D for the Diameter of the Mole
Any larger moles should be given special attention as well. A large mole is anything that is greater than 6 millimeters, which means it’s probably larger than the average pencil eraser.
E for Evolving Moles
It’s also important to take note of any changes your moles are undergoing. Has the mole begun to bleed or itch? Is it changing in shape, size, or color? Any changes in the characteristics of your moles mean that they should be screened.
Mole Removal Pittsburgh Dermatology Answers Questions About Moles
Is There Any Chance That a Removed Mole Will Come Back?
Occasionally, moles will regrow after being removed, but the chance of this happening is very small. Avoiding excessive sun exposure, by wearing both sunscreen and protective clothing, is a good way of keeping moles from returning after treatment. Having regular skin screenings with a dermatologist is also a good way of ensuring that your skin is being professionally monitored and that any returning moles are dealt with quickly.
Mole Removal Pittsburgh Dermatology Safe Advise for Home Remedies
You’ve probably heard about various home remedies that purport to get rid of unwanted moles, but going to a dermatologist is really the option for best mole removal. Go to A dermatologist can safely remove your mole in a way that leaves your skin healthy. We can also determine whether the mole is cancerous and if additional follow-up is needed.
Who Will Remove My Mole?
Pittsburgh mole removal process will be overseen by Dr. Tracy Prizant, a Pittsburgh native. Dr. Prizant earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. After an internal medicine internship at UCLA, she returned to Pennsylvania and completed her dermatology residency at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Prizant is a general dermatologist who works to develop long-term medical relationships with her patients. Those relationships often include regular preventative skin cancer screenings.
Consult to Mole Removal Pittsburgh at Prizant Dermatology
Do you have a mole you’re concerned about or one that you’d like to get rid of for cosmetic reasons? Our practice can determine the best way to remove your mole, and then quickly, safely, and painlessly get rid of it. Call Mole Removal Pittsburgh at Prizant Dermatology and ask about mole removal treatment today.