Most of us have moles somewhere on our skin. The vast majority of these are perfectly harmless, and there is no need to have them removed. But others are more suspicious and can even be cancerous. That’s not the only reason to have them removed, however. Some people decide to have moles removed because of practical or cosmetic reasons too. You can find out more about that below.
If you’re thinking about having a mole removed, it makes sense to learn as much as about moles and the removal process as possible. There is a lot to understand and get your head around. Read on to learn everything you could possibly need to know about it all.
What is a Mole? And What Are the Different Types?
To start with, you should know a bit about what a mole is and what kinds of moles you can be affected by. Moles are simply growths on your skins that are brown or sometimes black. They can present themselves in any location on your skin. Moles can change slowly over time, and most of them develop in childhood, although some of them can appear later in life. People with light skin, light hair or freckles are more like to develop more moles over the course of their lifetime.
There are various types of mole that you can develop. Junctional melanocytic naevi are flat and brown. Dermal melanocytic naevi are raised and pale. Compound melanocytic naevi are raised and brown. There are also some rarer moles that you can get. Halo naevi have white rings around them, and atypical naevi are larger and can be bumpy. You should now know which moles you have by comparing this information to the moles that you have on your body. But if you want to know more or are concerned about a mole, you should talk to your doctor.
What Causes Moles to Form?
You know about what moles are and what the different types are, but what causes them to form in the first place? As I mentioned above, some people with light skin are more likely to develop moles. This is to do with the genetic makeup of that particular skin type. Some people are simply born with moles, and there is no particular cause of this. Genetics is probably the biggest factor in causing moles to form. Some people are simply more likely to develop moles because that tendency is in their family history.
The sun also plays a part here. If you spend too much time out in the sun, you will end up developing more moles. Some of these can become cancerous if you are exposed to high levels of UV rays over an extended period of time. This is what needs to be avoided if you want to keep your skin in good condition. When moles change over time, it could be a sign that they are cancerous and abnormal. This is something that again can be tied to genetics. When people have a history of skin cancer in their family, they will be more likely to get it too.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Getting them Removed?
Getting a mole removed is a decision that people make for all kinds of different reasons. Some people simply don’t like the sight of the moles on their skin. They see them as ugly or unattractive, and that causes them to pay for a removal as a result of this. There are also some practical reasons why people decide to get their moles removed. For example, if a person has a large mole, it might catch on their clothes or jewelry and cause them some discomfort. This is a perfectly understandable reason for wanting to get rid of a mole.
However, other reasons for getting a mole removed are more serious, and they don’t require any real decision. For example, if you find that a mole you have is cancerous, you will have to get it removed as quickly as possible. This is one of the most common reasons for having a mole removed. Sometimes, doctors recommend that you have a mole removed if it looks suspicious. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the mole is cancerous. But there is some concern that it could develop further problems in the future.
What Are the Risks of Getting a Mole Removed?
If you’re having a mole removed, then it makes sense to learn about what the risks of having this procedure carried out are. The risks are not massive, but you should be aware of what could happen. The most common side effect of having a mole removed is scarring. You can be left with a scar where the mole was removed in some cases. This depends on how your skin heals and how big the mole that you have removed is. It won’t always happen, but it is a risk to be aware of.
Another risk that you should know about is nerve damage. When you have a mole removed, it means cutting into your skin and taking it out. Sometimes, this can result in some minor damage to the nerves in your skin. In the long-term, this can lead to some numbness in the area where the mole was removed. To avoid something like this, talk to your dermatologist and make sure that you can trust them before you go ahead with your plans to get the mole removed.
What to Expect from a Mole Removal Procedure
So, what should you expect when you get your mole removed? First of all, you’ll experience the preparation process. This is when the surgeon cleans your skin where your mole is located. You will also have the local anesthetic injected. This will make the area numb, so that you won’t feel anything at all while the mole is being removed. You can watch the procedure being carried out because you won’t be put to sleep while it’s being done. However, you don’t have to do this because it can be rather unpleasant to see.
Sometimes, lasers can be used to get the mole off your skin. But that is only in rare cases. Usually, lasers are not powerful enough to penetrate the skin and remove the entirety of the mole. They can go quite deep, so it’s important to remove all of it. If the removal is straightforward and the mile is relatively small, you might not need stitches. Instead, you can just look after the wound until it heals. In other cases, you will need to have stitches to speed up the recovery and remove any infection.
After the Procedure
Once the removal procedure has been carried out, you might think that the entire process has been completed. But that’s not actually the case. There are many other things that need to be done to ensure that you get the best overall outcomes from the removal. You might be given a bandage that you need to keep on and have replaced regularly. It’s also possible that you’ll be given antibiotic ointment to apply to the skin where the mole was removed.
If you didn’t have any stitches used, you probably won’t need any follow-up appointment. Instead, you’ll just need to keep an eye on the wound and see a doctor if you experience problems. However, you’ll need to get your stitches removed if they were used during the procedure. Once all that has been done, you will be able to get on with life as normal.