What are moles?
Moles are also called nevi. They are very common. Almost any person has a few moles scattered around their body. Usually, people with lighter skin have more moles. It is normal to have 10 to 40 moles on your skin. So, when do you have to search for mole removal in Sydney NSW?
First, let’s learn more about moles. They are skin growth composed of cells called melanocytes, producing pigment or color. Melanocytes can also cause moles to darken once teenage years arrive, during pregnancy or after sun exposure.
One mole can show up anywhere on a person’s skin, from the face to the feet. Sometimes they show up alone; sometimes, in groups. For most people, moles are acquired in the first 20 years of life. Often, they are brown. They can also be black or blue, even flesh-colored. Most moles are tiny and cannot cause harm or pain, unless they are bumped on something or rubbed.
When should I be worried?
Usually, moles are smaller than a pencil eraser and black or brown in color. If your mole is unlike this, it doesn’t mean that it’s cancerous. But, if your mole’s border is irregular, if it has a different color, if it changes shape or is asymmetrical, then you can opt to see a dermatologist. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that can grow near a mole, or even in it. If it is caught and treated early, melanoma can be cured. The first sign of this type of cancer is a change in a mole, or the arrival of a new mole.
Although most moles are benign, a dermatologist can remove a mole and identify if it’s cancerous through a series of tests.
Cancer is not the only reason why people would like to remove a mole. Some people go through mole removal because they dislike the way the mole looks, or its placement in their body. If you don’t like that mole, then you don’t have to bear with it every day. With just an hour in the operating room and a few weeks undergoing recovery, you can be mole-free. Mole-removal procedures are plenty, and some are more effective than others.
How is a mole removed?
Whether for cosmetic reasons or for health purposes, there are two main methods of removing a mole. First, excision with stitches, and second, excision with cauterization. These mole removal methods are both surgical procedures, so an anesthetic will be used for the area around the mole.
Excision with cauterization means the use of a scalpel to shave a mole down, up to or just below skin level. Bleeding will be inevitable, so to cauterize the area affected, a doctor will stop this by an electrical instrument or a solution.
Excision with stitches entails a cut that is slightly deeper that excision with cauterization. A surgeon will identify the amount of skin surrounding the mole that should also be removed. He will then draw a line around the skin that must be removed. This entire area is cut of the body and stitches are used for the wound to close.
Freezing and burning a mole off also works. Freezing involves using liquid nitrogen. The doctor will spray or swab a small amount of very, very cold liquid nitrogen on the mole. After the procedure, there might be a small blister where the mole once was but this will eventually heal. Meanwhile, burning involves an electric current passing through a wire that becomes hot and is utilized to burn off the skin’s upper layers.
Sometimes, doctors will recommend a punch biopsy for mole removal. This technique entails a small incision from a device that is likened to a cookie-cutter. While alternative mole-removal methods work, the most effective method would still be excision.
Are there other ways to remove a mole?
If you are frightened of needles and scalpels, there are mole removal creams available in the market. These creams claim that they can remove moles, but they don’t work, usually.
The general idea of how a mole-removal cream works is: it requires you to scratch your mole and its surrounding area before application. Through the open sore, the cream will enter your body. It burns the skin and a scab would be created underneath the mole. Their theory is the scab will fall off eventually and the mole will be taken with it.
While mole removal creams are appealing because they are cheap and surgery-free, they usually are not effective. Also, if you are not careful with these types of creams, you could have a skin infection or a scar after using them. They can work sometimes, but leave pits where your mole used to be. Worse, the scarring left by the cream can be more noticeable than the mole you intended to remove. Creams can also make your mole susceptible to infection. By trying to remove a mole by yourself, you could miss cancer’s early signs. If the mole has skin cancer and you tried to remove it by yourself, cancer cells can remain in the skin or worse, spread.
What do I do after a mole is removed?
Upon mole removal, the skin will heal. If it grows back, make another appointment with your dermatologist immediately as this is a sign of melanoma.
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