Mole Treatment In Gainesville, FL
Moles, also known as nevi, are extremely common collections of melanocytes on top of the skin. Moles are common skin lesions and, in most cases, harmless to patients. Many patients have between 10–40 moles on their body, though fairer-skinned patients tend to have more due to a lack of melanin. It’s important to get moles checked regularly by a skin specialist because doing so can help detect skin cancer. For most benign moles and skin lesions, a simple nearly painless procedure (shave excision) under local anesthesia resolves them permanently.
John W. Tyrone, MD, PLLC, Plastic Surgery provides high-quality skin care services and plastic surgery in Gainesville, FL! Our skin care team wants to ensure you have peace of mind when it comes to your moles. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your moles or to learn more about all the skin conditions we treat.
What Do Moles Look Like?
Most moles are brown spots that are round and regularly shaped, but they come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Common colors for moles are brown, tan, black, red, pink, or blue, and they can be wrinkled, smooth, raised, or flat. Some moles have hair growing from them. The size of moles varies, but they are usually less than ¼ inch in diameter — about the size of an eraser on the tip of a pencil.
Common Types Of Moles
There are many different types of moles, and each one comes with its own set of characteristics. The most common include the following. Contact us to learn more about which type of mole you have and if treatment is necessary.
Atypical moles, or dysplastic nevi, are irregular moles displaying irregular symptoms, including blurry borders, varying color, increased size, and flat/raised characteristics. Dysplastic nevi exhibit similarities to precancerous and cancerous moles, but most are harmless. However, a patient with multiple atypical moles is more prone to cancer, so they should perform regular checks.
Congenital moles, also called congenital nevi, appear at birth or within the first year of a baby’s life. These moles are caused by melanocyte cells in the epidermis (outer layer of skin), the dermis (middle layer of skin), or both. They are often referred to as birthmarks and come in all sizes and shapes.
Unlike congenital moles, acquired moles pop up during later childhood and adulthood, and they are the most common type of mole. Typically, acquired moles pose no risk and are benign, though sometimes they can develop into cancerous moles as a patient ages. It’s important to have acquired moles checked periodically by a professional.
Skin tags are small, benign skin growths that are harmless and don’t require removal immediately. Skin tags often occur in creases or folds of the skin; Though they don’t pose a risk to patients, they can be removed for aesthetic reasons using over-the-counter (OTC) methods, excision, and cryotherapy.
How Do I Examine My Moles?
Patients must have their moles examined either at home or by a skin specialist. It’s important to frequently check on atypical moles and cite abnormal changes in size, color, shape, etc. The best way to examine moles on the body is with mirrors, but having someone help can also be useful if the moles are in a hard-to-see area. You should check the moles at least once a month. It’s important to look at all areas of the skin including the scalp, hands, feet, genitals, and back. The best method to use is the following ABCDE method.
- Asymmetry: One side of the mole looks different from the other side.
- Borders: The borders are jagged and indistinct, and pigmentation is spread outside the mole’s outline.
- Color: Inspect for growths that have changed colors, have multiple colors, or uneven colors. You might see different amounts of black, white, red, grey, blue, brown, or tan.
- Diameter: The size of the mole increases to larger than a quarter-inch. While some melanomas can be tiny, most are bigger than a ¼ inch.
- Evolution: Keep an eye out for moles that change in size, color, elevation, or shape, especially if part of the moles turns black. Irritation, itching, or bleeding may occur and requires attention from a skilled Gainesville skin specialist.
Mole Treatment Options
Moles are detected through a visual examination of the skin performed by yourself or one of our skin specialists. Although most patients don’t require mole treatment, surgical removal is just one option available for patients with precancerous or cancerous moles. During your appointment, Dr. Tyrone will determine the skin care treatment that’s most effective for treating your moles with minimal scarring. Whether you need precancerous mole removal, cancerous mole removal, or you seek skin lesion removal simply for aesthetic reasons — the skin care team with our Gainesville plastic surgery office can provide you with treatment and peace of mind!