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Worried About a Mole?

A new, changing, or unusual mole isn’t always dangerous, but should still be assessed just to be safe. Early detection is very important. At Greco Dermatology, we will address any urgent mole that arises so that you don’t have to wait and worry while it persists.

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What Exactly are Moles?

Moles are common skin lesions that are mostly benign, but they may lead to melanoma. They are dark in color because they produce pigment, so they may present as brown, black, blue, or pink. Moles are also often raised from the skin. They can appear anywhere on the body, and they can develop as an individual lesion or a cluster. Moles tend to occur before the age of 25, and it’s common to have 10-40 moles in your adult life. Moles often become darker during adolescence, pregnancy, or after sun exposure.

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What to Watch For

Because some moles lead to melanoma, it’s critical to be aware of your skin and the moles that may appear. If you have atypical moles (see the section below) plus the common melanoma risk factors listed here, we encourage you to be particularly mindful:

  • Atypical moles
  • Family history of melanoma
  • Fair skin, light eyes, light hair
  • Freckles
  • Photosensitivity
  • The inability to tan
  • Repeated and intermittent sunburns
  • Numerous moles
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer

The “ABCDE” Warning Signs of Melanoma

  • Asymmetry: Most melanomas are asymmetrical. 
  • Border: Melanomas usually have borders that are uneven, scalloped, or notched.
  •  Color: Melanomas may have different shades of brown, black, or tan that become red, white, or blue with growth.
  • Diameter/Dark: A mole that is 6mm or ¼ inch in diameter or larger must be checked.
  • Evolving: A mole that changes in size, shape, color, or elevation must be checked. If it crusts, itches, or bleeds, this is also cause for examination.
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What to Expect

Dr. Greco will determine if your mole is suspicious and should be biopsied. After the biopsy, if Dr. Greco thinks the mole should be further removed, there are multiple options.

Although it is a surgical procedure, it’s very minor and is often performed with a local anesthetic only.

Types of Mole Removal

Options for mole removal include:

Surgical Excision

The mole is excised (cut out) with a scalpel or circular blade. Part of the healthy tissue around it is excised as well and the wound is closed with stitches.

Surgical Deep Shave

The mole is shaved off the skin’s surface with a small surgical blade, as well as the tissue that is underneath it and allowed to heal on its own.

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After Mole Removal

Mole removal does leave behind a scar, but after it heals, it typically blends in well with the surrounding skin. Healing factors will depend on the type of mole removal surgery you have, your age and skin type, and how big the mole is. The majority of patients don’t mind the tiny scar in return for their health.

What Can You Do?

With skin cancer, the great news is that if it’s diagnosed and treated early enough, cure rates approach 100% while achieving minimal scarring. For patients who have never had skin cancer, regular checks are of prime importance to minimize the risk of developing it. Utilizing topical, oral, or minimally invasive light-based treatments, we can target areas of highest sun exposure to minimize the burden of damage before cells have the opportunity to transition to a potentially cancerous state.

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Why Choose Mole Removal at Greco Dermatology?

Joseph F. Greco, MD is a Mohs surgeon and skin cancer specialist who has been double board-certified by The American Board of Dermatology in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery. He provides a personal touch, and you can be certain that he will detect the issue and expertly perform your surgery if needed. We are a premier and comprehensive skin cancer center that will focus on the surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer and suspicious lesions. We treat you with respect, compassion, and individualized care. It’s important to us that you feel like you’ve joined a team or formed a partnership with us. We want you to look forward to your next visit. If you’re in the Sarasota area and you’re interested in mole diagnosis or mole removal, contact Greco Dermatology today.

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