Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston - Lisa D Hitchins MD : (281) 256-2000
Toll Free Number (855) 460-4557
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Mole Removal

Moles - Surgical Treatment

Moles - Surgical TreatmentMoles are irregular overgrowth of melanocytes in the skin. Melanocytes are pigment producing cells of the skin. A mole is also called a nevus. Moles are very common and are usually round or oval in shape. They may be present at birth (acquired mole) or may appear later (congenital mole). Another type of mole is an atypical mole or dysplastic mole which is usually larger, irregularly shaped and may be of uneven color. Atypical moles have a greater tendency to develop into a serious type of skin cancer called melanoma. Atypical moles are composed of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Risk of cancer is less with an acquired mole; however large numbers do increase the risk of melanoma.

Surgical Treatment

Most moles are harmless and do not require treatment but can be removed for cosmetic reasons. In some cases they can become cancerous and are called melanomas. Atypical moles may be watched and monitored by your physician or biopsied to determine if they are cancerous. If melanoma is diagnosed, your surgeon will discuss treatment options with you.

Moles can be removed surgically by two methods:

  • Excision: Cutting the mole out followed by stitches to close the skin if necessary
  • Excision with cauterization: This method involves using a cautery tool to burn away the mole

Surgical treatment is associated with certain risks and complications such as

  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to anesthetic
  • Nerve damage
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