What are Skin Moles?

Skin moles are benign skin growths that occur in all people. They are usually present at birth and tend to appear on the face, neck, trunk, and extremities. Fort Worth moles can be brown, black, pink, or mixed colors. Some may be raised or flat. However, skin moles are not painful or itchy.

Here are the causes and treatment options for moles.

What are the causes of skin moles?

Skin moles are caused by the transformation of melanocytes (pigment cells) in the epidermis into pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes migrate from their origin sites to the skin surface, where they undergo further maturation before producing melanin (a dark pigment). Mature melanocytes give rise to small, round or oval clusters of pigment-laden cells called nevi (nevus). Moles occur when these nevi accumulate over time and become larger than 1 millimeter in diameter.

Moles are generally harmless, but some people may notice that they change in size or shape or develop new moles over time. This may happen if you have a genetic predisposition to developing moles or are exposed to certain hormones during pregnancy, birth control pills, or menopause.

How are skin moles treated?

Surgical removal (removal with a scalpel)– This is usually done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon with special training in this area of medicine. It can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The surgery can last from 1 hour to 2 hours; usually, less than 1 hour is needed for most patients. Some patients feel discomfort for up to 3 days after surgery. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after surgery so that you know what to expect during recovery time and how long it will take.

Chemical treatment (surgical removal with a laser) – This is usually done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon with special training in this area of medicine. The doctor uses a special solution to remove the mole during chemical removal. The solution is generally injected into the center of the mole and then allowed to work its way through the skin. This process can take several months, but it can also be done in one day if necessary. Some moles may require multiple treatments, depending on their size and location.

Laser treatment– In this procedure, doctors use a laser to burn away the outer layer of skin overlying the mole and surrounding tissue. The new skin grows back thick and pigmented within two weeks. The area may also hurt for a few days after the procedure. Insurance companies typically cover laser therapy if it’s done under local anesthesia. However, some insurance policies require pre-authorization before you can start treatment with laser therapy.

Treating skin moles is relatively straightforward, but some doctors prefer to remove the mole surgically. This procedure is known as excision, which entails removing the entire mole in one piece.

Some moles are more likely to develop into cancer than others. If you have a mole that does not seem to be growing or spreading, you may prevent cancer from developing by removing the mole when it appears.

If your doctor recommends the removal of a benign or noncancerous skin tumor, you must understand why your doctor is recommending this treatment plan. Get to know what to expect during each step of the process. To learn more about moles treatment, contact experts at Northstar Dermatology.