It is normal for people to have a few moles present somewhere on their body. In most cases, moles are harmless. However, some moles do present a risk for developing skin cancer. Any moles that are a concern can be removed by a dermatologist. A dermatologist can examine any moles you have to assess whether or not removal is necessary. At South County Dermatology, Dr. Robert Dyer and Dr. Vincent Criscione are your dermatologists for mole removal in East Greenwich, RI.
When Mole Removal is Necessary
Mole removal could be necessary when there are signs of possible cancer growth. Changes in the appearance of moles can be an indication of cancer development. The change can be in the color, size, shape, or texture of the mole. The bottom line is that any change is suspicious and should be examined by a dermatologist. American Academy of Dermatology has identified the following characteristics as being possible indicators of cancerous growth that could necessitate removal of a mole:
- The mole is asymmetrical
- The mole has a poorly defined or an irregular border
- The mole is not a consistent color throughout
- The mole is 6mm or greater in size
- The appearance of the mole has changed
It is important that you schedule a skin-cancer screening with a dermatologist if you observe any of the above characteristics in any of the moles on your body. A dermatologist can perform a biopsy of any suspicious moles to determine if cancer cells are present. Even if there is no sign of cancer, the dermatologist could still recommend removal of suspicious moles as a preventive measure.
The Mole Removal Process
The mole removal process is fairly straightforward out-patient procedure so you can return home the same day. To remove a mole, the doctor can either shave the mole off with a scalpel or remove it through excision. The doctor will first numb the area around the mole before removing it. If the mole is removed by excision, stitches will be required to close the area following removal of the mole. If the mole is shaved off, no stitches are typically necessary as the mole is generally removed flush with the skin level.
A dermatologist can determine if removal of any moles is necessary. For mole removal in East Greenwich, RI schedule an appointment with Dr. Dyer or Dr. Criscione by calling South County Dermatology at (401) 471-3376. Other office locations include Narragansett, Westerly, and Barrington, RI.