What are moles?
A skin mole is a spot on the skin that is usually round or oval in shape. The skin mole can be small or large, and it may range in color from pink, brown, red, or black. A single mole is referred to in medical terms as a nevus, plural is referred to as nevi. Virtually everyone has at least a few moles. Statistically one will find between 10-50 moles on any part of the body.
We are all born with all the moles we will ever have. Many of them are not visible at birth but will darken as one ages. Moles may be flat or it may be raised. Some will sprout a few hairs, which is normal. Moles can be removed using several different methods, and depending on the size of the mole, may result in some scarring.
Risk of Moles
The most important risk people must consider about moles is that there is a possibility that they can develop into a skin cancer called melanoma. This can occur near or inside an existing mole. Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer and people with many moles tend to have an increased risk of skin cancer.
Types of Moles
Congenital Mole – congenital nevus is the type of mole that is present at birth. The sizes of these moles can vary from small to large. Moles that are more than 20 centimeters wide are called giant congenital nevi and they have a tendency to carry a higher risk of melanoma. Giant moles can be treated with mole removal surgery.
Acquired Mole – after birth, a person can still grow moles, and these moles are referred to as acquired moles. People who acquire 50 – 100 moles may have a greater propensity of developing melanoma than people with fewer acquired moles.
Atypical Mole – these moles are bigger than normal moles and they have irregular shapes and various colors like brown, tan, pink or red. Often bigger than pencil erasers, atypical moles are also known as “dysplastic nevi.” People who develop these precancerous moles have a greater chance of developing melanoma and should frequently see dermatologists to consider mole removal.
Skin mole removal at Kovak Laser and Dermatology Institute is a very common procedure. Moles must be removed surgically to eliminate recurrence. We use two primary methods for mole removal. Shaving your mole requires no stitches and leaves a round scar, whereas an excision involves a simple stitch with a line scar. Prior to your procedure our team will thoroughly evaluate your mole for its condition before offering treatment.