When you hear mole removal, you are probably thinking one of two things. One, someone is trying to get rid of the animal pest, or two, someone is talking about oversized freckles that may or may not be cancerous. In this case, it is the latter. Moles of the dermatological type are often benign and even referred to as "beauty marks". However, every skin mole has the potential to become cancerous, or malignant, under certain circumstances. Thankfully, there are three ways you can have your moles removed.
Surgical Removal by Scalpel
Perhaps the least favored method for any patient, surgical removal by scalpel cuts around the mole and underneath. Your doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic and then proceed. Depending on the size of a mole, it usually does not require more than a minute or two to remove it. The process is repeated for each mole you want removed or each one your doctor thinks should be examined more closely.
Although this method sounds equally painful, it is more effective, heals faster and hurts less after only one day. Your doctor will choose either a silver nitrate stick to cauterize the mole into nothingness, or select a chemical that is similar to those used in chemical face peels. The difference here is that the chemical is a little more concentrated. It not only singes off the moles, but kills the cells that may have already begun to mutate into a cancerous growth.
The ultimate solution to any skin problem, dermatological lasers rarely draw blood when used effectively. The laser is passed over the mole a few times, shrinking the cells of the mole and removing extremely thin layers of skin from the top of the mole. Eventually, the laser has worn off enough of the mole that the healing process will take care of the rest. You may even select laser treatment not to remove the mole, but to make it less noticeable. Your doctor will tell you if he or she thinks keeping the mole is such a good idea, and may decide to perform a biopsy on it before continuing with laser treatment.
Making the Decision to Have a Mole Removed
Do not ever feel trapped or coerced into removing your moles. Most people can live years without ever having a single problem. For example, the supermodel Cindy Crawford has lived her entire life with a mole just above her upper lip. Since it has become an iconic trademark associated with her and is not malignant, she keeps it. Only choose to have a mole removed when a dermatologist tells you you should, or you want to remove a large mole for cosmetic reasons. Then you can select the mole removal that is right for you.
For more information, contact a local clinic like Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Specialists.