Moles can be present at birth — about 1 in every 100 people is born with a mole. Most people develop another 10-40 moles over the course of their lifetimes. Moles develop in response to genetics, hormones, sun exposure, certain medications, or age.
If you develop more than 50 moles, however, you’re at a higher risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Most moles are harmless, but some may raise concerns due to changes in size, shape, or color. These alterations can be an early indication of skin cancer, underscoring the importance of regular skin examinations.
At Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics, LLC, Laurel Krupski, PA-C, MSW, schedules you for regular skin checks. If she finds a suspicious mole, she may recommend removal to have it examined and prevent spread of any potential skin cancer.
Here’s what to expect during the process of suspicious mole detection, removal, and aftercare.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States. Early detection can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment. Suspicious moles may indicate skin cancer, especially if they have:
If you or Laurel have identified these characteristics in your mole, removal may be recommended.
If Laurel recommends removal, the procedure is typically a simple and quick outpatient process. Depending on the size, location, and suspected nature of the mole, she uses one of these procedures: excision, shave biopsy, or punch biopsy.
Laurel uses a scalpel to cut out the mole and stitches the surrounding skin. She sends the excised tissue to a laboratory for a thorough examination.
This technique involves shaving off the mole's top layers using Dermablade. You may not require stitches for this method.
Laurel uses a circular tool to punch out the entire mole and a small area of normal skin around it. Depending on the size of the wound, you may need stitches to close it.
Before any of these procedures, Laurel numbs the treatment area so you don’t feel pain or discomfort during removal.
After the procedure, Laurel provides specific instructions as to how you should care for the treated area to promote proper healing and minimize scarring. She tells you how to keep the wound clean, apply antibiotic ointment, and avoid sun exposure. If you do have stitches, they may need to be removed at a future appointment.
In some cases, removal of a suspicious mole may leave a small scar.
Laurel sends the excised mole tissue to a laboratory for examination under a microscope. This analysis helps determine whether the mole is benign (noncancerous), precancerous, or cancerous.
Your results determine if you need further treatment.
Regular skin self-exams and professional evaluations help you find suspicious moles early, so they can be removed before causing complications. If you’re scheduled for a mole removal, know that the process is quick, painless, and supports your overall health.
Get the aesthetic and medical dermatological care you need today. Make an appointment at Twin Falls Dermatology and Aesthetics.