Most people live with some moles on their skin. This is entirely normal, and they can be removed if unsightly or in an area that causes physical problems. In addition, there are atypical moles that may require some additional attention. The Aesthetic Center in Darien, CT can evaluate any moles in question and promptly remove them.
Sometimes our bodies will grow strange things that have never been there previously, and moles are just one of them. A mole (also known as nevi) is a dense grouping of skin cells that have assembled instead of being spread out. These cells are the same ones that give your skin its color (produce melanin) and are called melanocytes. Because moles are made up of melanin-producing cells, they can change in color (darken) when they are exposed to UV rays (sunlight) or with different hormonal changes. There are some moles that can develop into an atypical (abnormal) mole and may require surgical removal.
Most moles never develop into something other than a small, round brown spot that appears on the surface of your skin. With unprotected and repeated sun exposure and age, we tend to see more of them than we did when younger. It is recommended (particularly by dermatologists and plastic surgeons) that everyone wear sunscreen daily on all exposed skin surfaces to protect against damage and premature aging.
An atypical (or dysplastic) mole, is one that simply appears unusual. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, these moles are quite common and about 1 in every 10 Americans will have at least one atypical mole during their lifetime.
Atypical moles will require examination and follow up. If you or your physician finds one, it will need to be examined annually and you will be advised to watch for and inform of any changes. Some moles can change in color, shape, and size. Many times when there are changes that occur, our physicians will recommend that it be removed. A sample of the mole will routinely be sent for pathologic evaluation to distinguish if it is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
When a mole changes to a point where it is considered abnormal, many times the person is aware of these changes. You can watch for specific characteristics and these changes can easily be identified by remembering your ABCs.
The changes in moles can include the following:
The process of removing a mole (including atypical moles) is fairly simple and can be done in our medical office and is usually done by one of several ways. For any mole removal, the area can first be numbed to avoid any discomfort during the procedure.
If it is small, the mole and a small amount of tissue surrounding it can be “shaved” off with a scalpel, frozen with liquid nitrogen, or burned off (cauterization) with a laser. These procedures usually require no stitches. If the mole is irregular in shape or larger, our plastic surgeons may need to surgically remove the mole. The area will be numbed and then the mole, as well as a small amount of healthy tissue from around it (called margins), will be removed. This procedure usually requires stitches to close the area and specific care.
Removing a mole, either for cosmetic reasons or when medically necessary, may result in a scar. However, the resulting scar may completely disappear on its own. This depends on your age, general skin condition, history of abnormal scarring (keloids), the size of the mole, the type of removal performed, and the location of the mole. If scarring is a concern, products specially designed for minimizing scarring may be recommended.
Most mole removal sites will require little to no care. You should keep the area clean and follow up with your doctor if necessary. When stitches are required, these can be the type that will dissolve on their own or may require an additional appointment to remove them. The majority of removal areas will heal within two to three weeks. However, if this area is exposed to unprotected sunlight, it may tend to burn more easily. To ensure protection, you should use a recommended sunscreen.
If you are considering plastic surgery in Fairfield County or anywhere in Connecticut, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons.
722 Post Rd, Suite 202, Darien, CT 06820