Are you concerned about an unusual-looking mole? Visiting your dermatologist is a simple way to determine if the mole is harmless or cancerous. Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington, your San Antonio, TX dermatologists at Alamo Heights Dermatology PA, share some important information about mole removal.
Which moles should be removed?
Moles should be removed if they change color, size, height, texture or shape, or develop an irregular border. If your mole becomes scaly, hard or lumpy, or itches, oozes or bleeds, it's time for a visit to your dermatologist. During the visit, she'll remove the mole and send it to a lab, where it will be tested for cancer. Many suspicious moles turn out to be harmless, but because you never know when one will be cancerous, it's important to test them all.
Changes in your mole's appearance aren't the only reason you may want to have it removed. You might not way it looks or may be tired of accidentally shaving over it.
How do dermatologists remove moles?
Dermatologists usually use a scalpel to remove moles, although lasers, freezing or burning can also be used. Before your doctor begins the in-office surgical procedure, she'll numb your skin so that you don't feel a thing. In many cases, you won't even need any stitches after mole removal, although large moles may require a few stitches. The entire mole will be sent to the lab, and you'll be notified of the results in a few weeks.
What if the mole is cancerous?
If your mole is cancerous, you may need additional surgery to ensure that all of the cancerous cells are removed. Your San Antonio dermatologist may recommend Moh's surgery, a special surgical technique that involves removing the cancerous skin cells layer by layer. Once there are no more signs of cancer, removal stops. Moh's surgery results in less damage to healthy skin and produces smaller scars than traditional surgical techniques.
Is it about time you had that suspicious mole checked? Call Drs. Kelso and Fridlington, your San Antonio, TX dermatologists at Alamo Heights Dermatology PA, at (210) 255-8447 to schedule an appointment. Mole removal is a simple way to safeguard your health!