Moles: Types, Removal Options, Aftercare
Moles are the raised dark bumps over the skin. Though they are not life threatening, they affect one’s self esteem. Here come mole removal treatments!
Moles are the slightly raised dark bumps that occur anywhere on the body. An adult may have 10 to 40 moles on the body. Moles occur in all sizes, colors and shapes. Though most of moles are not life threatening, a change in their texture may be a hint of skin cancer. Besides, moles may affect one’s self esteem, especially if they are on the visible parts like face, arms and neck. This is why most people prefer removing them. Before discussing over the mole removal options, let’s know about the types of moles human have.
Congenital moles are the birthmark. However, they are associated with the risk of cancer (melanoma) which is generally detected in 1 percent people. Congenial mole is caused by the production of benign melanocytes in dermis or epidermis (or both).
Acquired moles occur during childhood or early adulthood. They are the type of benign neoplasm and occur under the skin or on the pigmented growth of the skin. These moles can be as small as ¼ inch and spread due to excessive sun exposure. They are not life threating.
Also known as dysplastic nevi, atypical moles are bigger and uneven shaped moles which vary in color. They are surrounded by black dots. They are genetic and may trigger skin cancer.
Junctional Melanocytic Nevi
Junctional melanocytic nevi are caused by the accumulation of melanocytes at the meeting points of dermis and epidermis. These moles are recognized by the regular borders and dark pigmentation. They usually occur between childhood and early adulthood because in this age melanocytes travel to the deeper layers of the skin.
Occurred in flesh colored, these moles are resembled with the skin due to the similar appearance. They are not dark as they outburst in the dermis and middle layer of the skin.
How to Tell If My Mole is Safe?
Typically, moles are not life threatening as they are just a heap of the skin pigment. Here are the signs that your moles are safe.
- Immaculate edges
- Dome like shape
- 6 mm diameter
- Don’t change the shape over the time
But it can’t be denied a presence of mole can be an indication of skin cancer known as Melanoma. The skin cancer can spread to lungs, bone, brain and liver. Some signs are irregular edges, color changes, unevenness, inflammation, crustiness and change in elevations. As it is not easy to keep all these symptoms in mind, here is an ABCED sequence to memorize them.
- Asymmetrical –visibly asymmetrical
- Border –uneven borders
- Colors –distinct colors
- Diameter –larger than¼ inch or 6 mm across
- Enlargement – the mole grows in size over time
Please visit your physician immediately if you see these signs.
HOW MOLES ARE REMOVED?
Moles are removed for number of reasons. Many people don’t feel comfortable with moles as they affect their self-esteem. Sometime moles can be cancerous, prompting people to remove them as soon as possible.
Here are some common mole removal methods:
Cutting it off:
A physician uses a scalpel or surgical scissors to cut off the moles. Some moles can be “shaved” off flush with the skin. Some moles have the cells at the deeper level of the skin, requiring a physician to make a deeper cut to cut off the entire mole and prevent it from coming back. You may get stitches after undergoing this mole removal method.
In this method, a doctor uses a swab or spray of cold liquid nitrogen to freeze the mole. After the treatment, a small blister may be left where the mole or skin tag was, but it will go away naturally.
Electric current is passed through a wire that becomes hot and is used to burn off the upper part of the moles. However, it requires you multiple sittings to remove a mole. Burning method is also useful to prevent bleeding.
Given that these procedures are painful, you should use a topical anesthetic like Dr. Numb to desensitize the skin. Or your physician will apply it in case you haven’t. A physician will also apply a medicine that prevents the bleeding. Then he or she will cover it with a bandage.
Remember, there will be a scar whenever you remove moles or something from your skin. Some of the areas with the possibility of scar formation are chest, shoulders and upper back.
Mole Removal Procedure:
- The area to be treated is cleansed using alcohol or Betadine.
- Then the spot is dulled with topical anesthetic like Numb or lidocaine. With numbed skin, you don’t feel pain or discomfort occurring from mole removal.
- A treatment is chosen according to the size of mole which can be cutting off, freezing or burning.
More Removal Aftercare Instructions:
It is important to take care of your skin after the mole removal. Here are some aftercare tips you should practice until the wound is healed.
- Apply petroleum jelly and a bandage to the treated area
- Keep your treated skin clean twice a day using water or diluted hydrogen peroxide
- Don’t leave your wound open.
- If your physician has covered your wound with sutures, follow your aftercare instructions regarding whether you can let the treated skin come into the contact of water.
- You can take OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen to ease your pain. (However, you should consult your doctor before taking any medication, especially if have medical condition.)
- Don’t scratch or rub your treated area during the healing period. It is totally normal if your wound itches.
- You can resume your routine activities immediately following the mole removal treatment. If your wound is on the joint like elbow or knee, you may have to adjust your mobility for a day or two as it becomes painful to move.
So this is all about moles, types of moles and mole removal methods.
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