Procedure

Mole and Skin Lesion Evaluation- Dermatology

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A mole is a lump on the skin that is common and more often does not lead to cancers. Moles are usually round or oval and are tinier than a pencil eraser. Some are present during childbirth or will later appear usually before reaching the age of 40. Some people even have 10 to 40 moles in their bodies. Moles, raised or flat, are areas of pigmented skin that are colored black or brown.

Most moles are not harmful and don’t require further treatment, but a person may want to remove a mole for personal or cosmetic reasons. When moles are surgically removed, they usually don’t appear again. 

Mole removal

If your mole is cancer-causing, your doctor will do surgery to remove it. If you have a mole that causes irritation when you shave, you may need to have it removed.

Mole removal takes only a few minutes to an hour and is commonly done on an outpatient basis. Your doctor will numb the area around the mole and remove it, and do some biopsy when needed. The process may leave a lasting scar.

 Three main types of skin biopsies are:

  • Shave biopsy
  • Punch biopsy
  • Excisional biopsy

Why is mole and skin lesion evaluation required?

In case your doctor susspects that a mole may be cancerous, he or she may take a tissue for biopsy. A skin biopsy is used to check for other skin conditions.

Which doctor to consult? 

Consult with your dermatologist about mole removal and skin evaluation. If in case you cut or scrape a mole, keep the area clean. See your doctor if the mole doesn't heal.

What to expect during the procedure?

In this procedure, the doctor will examine your skin and may remove some suspicious skin for testing (skin biopsy). In a shave biopsy, your doctor uses a sharp instrument, a two-edged razor or a surgical blade to cut the tissue. In a punch biopsy or an excisional biopsy, the doctor cuts into the top part of fat below the skin, so stitches may be needed to close the cut.

Post-operative care

All biopsies may cause some scars. Some people may expect a raised scar, especially when a biopsy is done on the neck or upper part of the body, such as the back or chest. At first, the scar will be pink and afterwards, it will become white or brown.

Complications

In order to minimize the risk of complications, the doctor should take a complete medical history and do a thorough physical examination before doing a skin biopsy.

References

  • ABCDE Self Assessment. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.mole-monitor.com/abcde-self-assessment.html
  • Abhishek, K., & Khunger, N. (2015). Complications of skin biopsy. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 8(4), 239-41.
  • Benign Moles and Skin Lesions - NicholsMD of Greenwich. (2019). Retrieved from https://kimnicholsmd.com/benign-moles-and-skin-lesions
  • Moles - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/moles/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20375204
  • Online Skin Lesion Evaluations and Treatment | SkyMD. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.skymd.com/conditions/skin-lesion
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