Mole Removal & Skin Lesions

Mole Removal: Mole on woman's shoulder examined by doctor

Mole Removal & Skin Lesions

The word mole is a general term for many different types of skin growths/lesions. Some common types of moles are nevi and seborrheic keratoses. Depending on the depth of the mole, they can either be removed by “shave excision” or deeper excision. Both of these procedures are performed in the office with the use of local anesthesia.

A shave excision is an excellent way to remove most superficial moles. This method involves horizontally shaving the lesion off flush with the normal skin with a sharp instrument after the area is numbed with a local anesthetic. The area usually heals very well leaving minimal to no scarring. For deeper moles or moles that clinically appear more serious, the method of removal is a standard excision. This method involves cutting through the full thickness of the skin and then suturing the wound together. Some scarring can be expected depending on the location of the lesion.

All moles that are removed are sent to the laboratory for pathologic interpretation to confirm the clinical diagnosis. Occasionally, even benign-appearing moles can turn out to be skin cancers.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are small growths of skin often found around the neck, underarm, or groin area. These lesions can be hereditary and it is not uncommon for several family members to have skin tags. These lesions are totally benign and require no treatment unless they are symptomatic. If they are bothersome, they can be removed by cautery. This involves using an electric needle. They can also be removed by snipping them off with a pair of sharp scissors. It is not recommended that these lesions be “snipped off” at home. Sometimes the skin tags can be quite vascular and unexpected bleeding can occur. Skin tags are generally easy to remove within the office and healing is quite quick.