A melanocytic nevus or mole is composed of masses of melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells of the skin. Moles, medically called nevi, appear as clusters of pigmented cells which vary in size, shapes and colours (either brown or black). Most skin moles are harmless, but in rare cases they can become precancerous, necessitating surgical removal.
Mole removal takes only a short time and can be done by surgical excision or surgical shave. Also, freezing method and laser treatment may be applied. But laser treatment is not used for deep mole removal as the laser beams are not able to penetrate that deep.
Moles can easily be diagnosed by the dermatologists and its removal is relatively painless. It is a short time procedure and is done as an outpatient basis. Moles can be removed by two main methods. These are surgical excision and surgical shave.
In surgical excision or cutting method, the moles are treated with a local anaesthetic before cutting out with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Also, the cells from underneath the top layer of the skin are removed. Then, the skin is closed by stitches that usually fade away with time.
Some skin moles are shaved down with a scalpel, especially if the moles are superficial. This sometimes can cause irritation on the skin.
Moles that are non-cancerous and haven’t grown to the deeper layers of skin can be frozen off with the application of liquid nitrogen. This may leave a small blister on the skin.
Laser treatment uses intense bursts of light radiation to break down the melanin pigment clot in the skin and thus, slowly remove the moles. This method usually takes two or three treatments to remove the mole completely. Laser treatment can be useful to treat multiple moles at a time but cannot be used for deeper moles.
If a mole is painful, oozes or bleeds, itches or burns, the person must immediately contact a dermatologist. If the moles grow back after having been removed before and show any of the ABCDE characteristics, then people should contact a medical expert. Also, if moles develop after 30 years of age, they have a greater chance of turning out cancerous and so, consulting a doctor would be helpful.
Moles are masses of melanocytes accumulated on the skin. They are usually benign and do not render any harm. Such moles, if not an individual’s choice, do not require any medical assistance.
Risks of side effects of mole removal depends on the area being treated and the method of removal. Adverse effects of mole removal methods vary from infection to rare anaesthetic allergy and very rarely, nerve damage. Signs of an infection include reddening of the site, pain, a hot feeling to the skin and pus coming from the wound. If the infections are not treated, germs can get into the bloodstream and cause a blood infection called sepsis. This blood infection is life threatening. Pain is one of the most common side effects of mole removal. Burning or surgically removing the mole can cause an irritation of the skin. Scar is the most common due to mole removal. The larger the mole, the bigger the scar.
After the treatment, the area should be kept clean with either water or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Leaving it open to air will enhance the chances of infection, so it should be covered up with a bandage till the cut dries. Unnecessary stress and strain to the area must be avoided. It is also advised to wear proper sun protection (i.e. hats, protective clothing, SPF) to prevent moles from forming in the future and to prevent removed moles from returning. Monthly skin check-ups are also advised to spot any irregular moles and notice any changes in existing moles.
Moles can be removed instantaneously by surgical methods. But the cut or scar that it leaves behind takes a minimum of six months to merge with the skin. If the mole was pretty large in size, the scars may be left as a permanent mark on the skin.
Mole removal treatment is a cost involving treatment. On an average, it requires Rs 5000 for moles to be removed. Laser treatment and surgical excision may incur greater expenditure. Moreover, complete removal of the mole cells require two or three operations and thus the expenditure rises to higher amounts.
In some cases, even after treatment, moles may appear back. Not all treatments guarantee a cent percent cure and it may so happen that some of the mole cells were not removed during therapies. Also, exposure to sun can cause moles to grow back with the accumulation of pigment cells.
Moles can be removed by home remedies. But this is rare and extremely time consuming. Application of apple acid vinegar, honey, flaxseed oil etc can help remove and lighten pigments.