Moles, or nevi, are frequently removed for a variety of reasons. They can be removed by two surgical methods:
- Excision (cutting), with or without stitches
- Excision with cauterization (a tool is used to burn away the mole)
Typically, the doctor or dermatologist (a skin specialist) may choose excision with or without stitches, depending on the depth of the mole and the type of cosmetic outcome desired.
- What is a mole?
- Many people refer to a mole as any dark spot or irregularity in the skin. Doctors use different terms. But the following types of skin marks such as these are not treated the same way moles are and are not discussed here:
- Abnormal formations of blood vessels (hemangiomas)
- Keratoses (benign or precancerous spots, which appear after about age 30 years)
- What causes moles?
- Some people are born with moles. Other moles appear over time.
- Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of moles and may even play a role in the development of atypical, or dysplastic, moles.
- The role of heredity cannot be underemphasized. Many families have a type of mole known as dysplastic (atypical), which can be associated with a higher frequency of melanoma or skin cancer.
Joel Schlessinger, MD