Mole Removal

What Are Moles?

Moles, also known as nevi, are common skin growths that typically appear as small, brown spots. They are made up of cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin responsible for skin color. The lighter the shade of your skin, the more moles you are likely to have.

Moles will often grow over the course of your life. Color will change, some will grow lighter over time, while some will grow darker. Again, these changes are typical and expected and rarely a sign of a medical issue requiring attention.

Some moles can be cancerous and a sign of the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, melanoma. Frequent and complete dermatological exams are crucial as if melanoma is caught early, it is treatable, but if ignored, can be life-threatening.

If you notice any of the following changes, contact your provider immediately for a skin examination or mole check: 

  • A stands for Asymmetry - One side of the mole is different to the other half. 
  • B stands for Border - The mole has an irregular or poorly defined edges or border. 
  • C stands for Color - The colors and shades within the mole are different when compared. 
  • D stands for Diameter - The size is greater then 6mm. '
  • E stans for Evolving - The mole looks different compared to the rest or it appears to be changing in shape, size or color. 

Two Common Modes of Removal

  • Surgical excision: If a mole is of a certain size and/or extends below the epidermis somewhat, a dermatologist will cut out the mole in its entirety under local anesthesia.
  • Surgical shave: If a mole is on the surface of the skin and does not extend to a significant depth below the epidermis, a surgical blade can be used to shave the mole off, under local anesthesia.

Additional Resources