At Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, NC, we are passionate about helping our clients feel as confident in their appearance as possible. We are proud to offer numerous cosmetic and medical dermatology services to help our clients feel as comfortable as they can in their skin. Among these services is mole removal, and that is what we will be focusing on today.
How Long Does Mole Removal Take?
How long mole removal takes depends on the size of the mole, the removal method used, and other factors. However, you can generally expect your treatment to be completed relatively quickly. If you are treating a fairly small mole that is not very deep, your session may only take around 10 minutes to complete. That said, in some cases, treatments can take closer to an hour.
What Removal Methods Can I Choose From?
Typically, moles are removed through shaving or excision. However, laser therapy and freezing are also options. The right removal method for you depends on several factors, including your personal preferences and the depth of the mole. We will review all of your options thoroughly and help you determine which method is right for you during your initial consultation.
What Does Laser Therapy for Mole Removal Involve?
Before laser therapy is used to remove your unwanted mole, the area of concern will be sterilized and numbed. Then, an FDA-approved laser will be used to emit a concentrated beam of light that will destroy the significantly pigmented cells of the mole. After that, we will bandage the area and review the wound care guidelines you will need to follow.
What Does Mole Freezing Involve?
If you opt to have your unwanted mole frozen off, your treatment will start off similarly to laser therapy. We will sterilize and numb the area to ensure your safety and comfort during your treatment. Then, liquid nitrogen will be applied to the mole. The extreme cold will cause the cells to die, and over the course of approximately 10 to 14 days, the mole will fall off.
What Should I Expect During Excision?
If you opt for excision, or cutting, to remove your unwanted mole, a local anesthetic will be injected into the mole after it is sterilized. Once the area is numb, special surgical scissors or a scalpel will be used to remove both the mole and a small amount of the surrounding skin. In some cases, that is all the treatment involves. In the case of deep moles, it may be necessary for stitches to be used to close the wound.
What Should I Expect If I Opt for Shave Removal?
Shave removal of unwanted moles is very similar to the excision removal method. Once your skin is prepared for the treatment, shaving will be used to remove thin layers of the mole until it has been removed completely. It is extremely rare for stitches to be required after this treatment.
Should I Have My Mole Removed?
Generally, you should have a mole removed if it is affecting your self-confidence or causing you discomfort or pain. However, even if your mole is not bothering you, under certain circumstances, you should consider having your mole removed.
For example, you should strongly consider mole removal if your mole bleeds or itches, especially if you have a personal or family medical history of skin cancer. Additionally, you should consider having your mole removed if it is abnormal.
What Are the Signs of an Abnormal Mole?
Asymmetry is one of the most common signs of an abnormal mole. Another common sign that your mole is atypical is irregular borders. Moles usually have smooth borders. If the edges of your mole are scalloped or uneven, you should have it inspected by a dermatologist.
Odd colors are another sign that your mole needs to be looked at by a dermatologist. For example, you should schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if your mole is pink, white, red, or black. There is also cause for concern if your mole has several shades of brown. Moreover, moles that are over six millimeters in diameter should be evaluated by a qualified skin expert. Finally, your mole will be considered atypical if it evolves over time. In other words, you should have your mole checked out if it changes in:
Are All Abnormal Moles Cancerous?
No, not all abnormal moles are cancerous. The reason it is so important to have abnormal moles evaluated by a medical professional is that they can be a warning sign of melanoma. This serious form of skin cancer can be treated more successfully when it is detected and treated early.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
How long it takes for your unwanted mole to be removed depends on several factors, including the removal method and the size of the mole. Generally, you can expect your treatment to take between 10 minutes and an hour. If you have one or more moles affecting your self-confidence or causing other problems, contact us now at Steele Creek Dermatology in Charlotte, NC to schedule an initial evaluation and learn more about your options.