Moles come in various sizes, shapes, and colors. While most are benign, certain types are at increased risk for malignant transformation – meaning development of skin cancers such as melanoma. Any significant change in any feature of a mole warrants further investigation and sometimes removal of the mole. If you have a mole that has changed significantly or is exceptionally large, evaluation by a dermatologist can be helpful in determining whether or not a biopsy is warranted. These types of evaluations and procedures are typically covered by insurance.
Some patients have benign moles that are simply aesthetically unattractive. In such cases, our surgeons can assist you in determining the most cosmetically acceptable method of mole removal. Smaller, more raised moles can often be shaved off in the office at a short appointment with no to minimal scarring. Excisions are done in the office where the mole is cut out and repaired in a way to produce minimal scarring. Both techniques are done under local anesthetic with minimal pain following the procedure. Sutures, if used, are taken out 3-4 days after and steri-strips are applied to hold the incision together for another 3-4 days for optimal results.
Multiple moles can be removed at one time in various ways and may or may not involve insurance coverage. Utah Facial Plastics doctors can evaluate the medical necessity of the removal(s) to determine which moles could be covered by a particular insurance plan, at which point, our medical staff call to verify benefits and coverage prior to the actual procedure.
In all cases, an appropriate skin care regimen as well as sun protection is critical. Consistent use of a good sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that contains zinc and/or titanium oxide (physical blocker) for up to 1 year is important for minimizing visibility of the scar following an excision.
Mole Removal FAQs:
Can a Mole Grow Back After Shave Excision?
There are two common ways that most moles are removed, shave excision and surgical excision. When a mole is small and raised, the doctor will often choose to shave it off. Surgical excision is usually reserved for larger moles and those that are flat, like a spot on the skin. Shave excision has its benefits. For one, there is no need to close an open wound with stitches. This method is conservative and removes only the cells that are on the surface of the skin. Because shave excision doesn't target deeper layers of the skin, there is a chance that some of the cells that prompted the mole to develop may remain active. At some point, a new mole may grow in the same spot. Though this can happen, it rarely does. Also, moles that regrow are not indicative of skin cancer. You may revisit the office if needed to have the mole removed using surgical excision.
Why Do I Have So Many Moles?
According to studies, most adults have dozens of moles. The majority of moles that can be seen on the skin are called acquired moles. These may develop for a number of reasons. Sun exposure is the leading cause of mole growth. The fortunate thing about this is it provides you with the opportunity to decrease the number of new moles that you develop. In addition to avoiding tanning and excessive sun exposure, you can work against mole development by wearing broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen and, as needed, protective clothing, as well.
In addition to sun exposure, there are other factors that may influence mole growth. These factors may occur at different times in life or may remain consistent throughout your life. For example, if you have a family history of acquired moles, you naturally have a higher chance of developing more than the average number of moles in your lifetime. According to studies, people with lighter skin tend to have more moles and are more likely to continue developing new moles well into adulthood. Your hormones can also play a role in mole development. Research has determined that women often develop new moles at times when their hormones are shifting, including during pregnancy and menopause. Your immune system may prompt mole development, too. This can happen when the body responds to some type of medication. Examples of drugs that suppress the immune system include antibiotics and antidepressants. If you take medication or supplements that affect your hormones, moles may result from them.
As you can see, you have some power over the growth of new moles as you age, but not complete power to prevent them. Any moles that look suspicious should be checked by a board-certified dermatologist. Any moles that are benign but are causing you to feel frustrated or unsatisfied with the appearance of your skin can be easily removed. Having moles removed does not increase the chances of new moles growing in the future. This quick, painless treatment can help you feel your best!
Contact Us Today!
Interested in mole removal in Salt Lake City, Draper, Layton, Utah and the surrounding areas? Contact Utah Facial Plastics for more information. To schedule an appointment call 801.776.2220 or fill out our inquiry form.