How to Remove skin tags A mole is a cluster of skin cells – usually brown or black – that can appear anywhere on your body. They usually show up before age 20. Most are benign, meaning they’re not cancerous.
See your doctor if a mole appears later in your life, or if it starts to change size, color, or shape. If it has cancer cells, the doctor will want to remove it right away. Afterward, you’ll need to watch the area in case it grows back.
You can have a mole removed if you don’t like the way it looks or feels. It can be a good idea if it gets in your way, such as when you shave or dress.
How Do I Find Out if a Mole Is Cancerous?
First, your doctor will take a good look at the mole. If he thinks it’s not normal, he’ll either take a tissue sample or remove it completely. He might refer you to a dermatologist – a skin specialist – to do it.
How Is It Done?
Mole removal is a simple kind of surgery. Normally your doctor will do it in his office, clinic, or a hospital outpatient center. He’ll likely choose one of two ways:
- Surgical excision. Your doctor will numb the area. He’ll use a scalpel or a sharp, circular blade to cut out the mole and some healthy skin around it. He’ll stitch the skin closed.
- Surgical shave. This is done more often on smaller moles. After numbing the area, your doctor will use a small blade to shave off the mole and some tissue beneath it.
Are There Any Risks?
It will leave a scar. The biggest risk after surgery is that the site can get infected. Carefully follow instructions to care for the wound until it heals. This means keeping it clean, moist, and covered.