Moles are skin growths that can be black, brown, or the color of the individual’s natural skin. They may develop on the skin’s surface individually or in clusters. Moles can appear at any age, but they are most common between the ages of birth and early adulthood. Moles that appear later in life are more likely to be cancerous.
Moles are natural and commonplace among the general public. However, many individuals opt for having them eliminated for both aesthetic and medical reasons. Today we are going to talk about moles, why it is important to monitor them, removal options, and the elements that impact the cost of mole removal.
Moles: To Remove Or Not To Remove?
Removing a mole is usually a personal choice that is done for cosmetic purposes. If an individual has a mole on their face that is not situated where a classic “beauty mark” would be, they may desire to have it eliminated. Likewise, if the mole is located in an area that rubs against clothing, such as a bra strap, and is irritating or causes discomfort, it can be removed.
Moles that are suspected of being precancerous or cancerous must be removed and biopsied. Melanoma is one of the worst and deadliest forms of cancer because it spreads to other parts of the body very quickly. Keeping an eye on your moles or looking out for new ones can save your life. Melanoma, if found early, can be removed and treated.
What Kind Of Mole Is This?
Moles are put into categories depending on when they appear during your lifetime as well as how they look and the risk factor for cancer. There are three categories of moles:
- Congenital – These are present at the time of birth and are often also referred to as birthmarks.
- Acquired – These are normal, harmless moles that appear anytime after birth.
- Atypical – These can appear at any time after birth but have the look of melanoma and require testing.
Doctors also use the “ABCDE” rules as a guideline for monitoring moles.
- A – the shape is asymmetrical.
- B –the borders are irregular
- C – color changes or variations in color.
- D – diameter if the mole grows bigger than a quarter of an inch.
- E – evolves or changes size, shape, color, thickness, or texture
See the mole comparison chart below for an example.
Normal Mole vs Suspect Mole
Normal Congenital & Acquired
Usually symmetrical with even smooth borders, uniform color, size less than 6-10 mm, may grow larger but does not change shape.
Atypical Potentially Cancerous
Asymmetrical with uneven borders, they can vary in color and are usually larger than 6 mm. They can evolve and change shape, size, or color.
How Are Moles Removed?
There are a few different techniques that can be used for removing moles, and the technique used will vary depending on where the mole is located and the reason for its removal.
- 1. Shave Biopsy Removal
- This technique only removes the top portion of the mole and the aesthetically displeasing portion of the mole. This is often used on the face or other sensitive areas. This technique can allow for the regrowth of a mole or the inability to recognize any changes to the mole that could be potentially cancerous.
- 2. Punch Removal
- A punch biopsy is normally used to eliminate smaller moles. A special tool with a round blade is used to create a circular incision about 4 mm deep to remove the mole and the small round core.
- 3. Scalpel Removal
- A surgical scalpel is used for this technique and is usually reserved for larger moles or atypical moles that need to be biopsied. Stitches are normally required after a scalpel mole removal procedure.
- 4. Laser Mole Removal
- This is a common procedure that is used to remove smaller flat moles that are benign and superficial. A special laser tool is used that treats the mole with small light radiation bursts. Normally patients require around three treatments to effectively remove the mole
Can I Remove A Mole Myself?
While you may have heard anecdotal mole removal stories, we do not recommend DIY mole removal at home for a variety of reasons. A qualified doctor will safely and effectively remove the mole, with a significantly lower risk of side effects such as excessive scarring or infection. If necessary, the doctor can also make the process more comfortable for you by using a topical or local anesthetic. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, the doctor is trained to recognize precancerous and cancerous moles and growths, which could possibly save your life.
How Much Does Mole Removal Cost?
Mole removal pricing can vary based on factors such as where the mole is located, the number of moles being removed, the size of the mole, the depth of the mole, etc.
If the mole is atypical and needs testing, there will be laboratory costs in addition to the mole removal cost. Additional costs may be incurred if any reconstruction of the removal site is necessary.
If a patient desires any additional cosmetic corrections to their face after the removal procedure (scar reduction procedures, etc.), then the total mole removal cost for their face will increase accordingly.
Mole removal pricing usually starts at about $350 and will vary depending on specific patient needs. Some removal procedures may be covered by health insurance, which may lower the overall mole removal cost.
Who Can I Contact About Mole Removal?
If you have a mole that you would like to have removed, Dr. Angelina Posteov, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, can be relied upon to do an exceptional job. Her cosmetic surgery practice, SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics, offers mole removal at their convenient locations in Buckhead, Loganville, Duluth, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta.
Contact SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics and set up an initial online consultation to find out more about your options for mole removal.