Moles are very common and can appear randomly. Luckily, they're also easy to remove. Dr. Schultz describes a simple mole removal procedure.
Read the full transcript »
Dr. Neal Schultz: Hello, I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV. Mole removal is so easy. It takes a dermatologist less than a minute to remove a raised mole. And invariably, after the procedure, the patient says that's all there is to it. I can't believe I waited so many years to have that mole removed. Moles can either be raised, which are the most common ones and what most people are referring to when they're talking about moles or they can be flat, but today, we're just going to talk about removing raised moles. Moles are a collection of a very large number of normal pigment cells called melanocytes and something that's very special about raised moles is that, in addition to the portion of the mole that's raised above the skin, there's almost always an equal portion of the mole, an equal shape below the skin. Most people recognize moles as raised bumps on the skin, especially on the face. They can be skin-colored or they can have some brown or black color on the top. In addition, many moles have hairs in them. The reason that most people want to remove their moles is because they just don't like the way they look. Most of these moles are acquired during life, not born with them. So when patients see them appearing newly on their face, they just don't like them, but the good news is removing them is so easy. A little bit of local anesthesia is injected into the skin right underneath the mole. Then a flat instrument shaped like a knife is used to literally slice the portion of the mole that's raised off the surface of the skin and that portion of the removed mole is sent to the laboratory, not because it's abnormal, but everything that's removed is sent to the laboratory for biopsy. This way we never get surprises. It takes about a week for the surface where the mole was removed to heal, and it results in pink skin, which then takes a couple of weeks for the pink color to fade. We get excellent, excellent cosmetic results with flat skin, which is usually skin colored, which means there's nothing to see where the mole was removed. On occasion, less than 10% of the time, when there's color inside the mole not just at the top, not just on the bottom, but if the color is right at the level of the skin where the mole was removed, then it's possible to see some of that color back in the skin when the skin heals. And in that case, when the skin heals it's still flat but, instead of being skin colored, it can be dark colored or whatever color the mole was. So, if you have moles that you're not crazy about and that you would like to have removed, see your dermatologist for fast, easy mole removal. Please join me again at dermtv.com. If you have a question please send me by visiting dermtv.com/question. I'm Dr. Neal Schultz and thank you for watching today.