All of us have moles, technically called nevi. Moles are made of clusters of melanocytes, cells which produce pigment. They may look like light-colored freckles that become darker in the summer months or may appear as singular round spots on the skin. Coloring within moles varies from person to person, with some appearing light tan, and others being brown, pink, or black, some can even be skin tone.
While most moles are harmless, some may be atypical or carry malignant potential. Your Oak Dermatology physician will perform a skin analysis and evaluate the moles. But even if the moles are completely benign or harmless, there are times when they are cosmetically undesirable or are in locations where they become irritated. In these instances, they can be very easily removed by simple office procedures.
Depending on the size, color, and thickness of the moles, a variety of approaches may be taken. Moles that are slightly raised and very superficial may be removed by shave excision, where a transverse incision literally “shaves” the mole off, leaving the wound flat and flush with the surrounding skin. Deeper moles are usually removed by making a perpendicular excision around the mole and then suturing the resultant defect. This assures that all of the mole is removed. The resulting wound from both techniques may then undergo CO2 laser resurfacing to further improve the outcome. The heat from the laser will destroy any mole remnants in the deeper dermis, but also create new collagen and allow the skin to heal faster and smoother. Depending on the size and location of the mole, the skin typically heals with an almost imperceptible scar.