Moles are harmless brown or black spots on your skin. They’re often slightly raised and may have a different texture. Moles are very common — almost all adults have a few. People with light skin often have more moles. It’s perfectly normal to have as many as 40 or more moles.
Most moles develop before you reach adulthood. They may grow bigger, darken, or lighten through adolescence. These changes are natural and not usually a cause for concern. However, changes to your moles or new moles when you’re an adult could be a sign of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
Fortunately, early identification and treatment of melanomas is usually highly successful.
The Twelve Bridges Dermatology team can remove moles that are uncomfortable, for example if they are sore from rubbing against your clothes. You can also undergo mole removal if you find your moles unattractive.
The main reason for mole removal is having a cancerous mole. Signs that indicate you might have a melanoma include moles increasing in size, itching or bleeding, or changing in other ways.
Mole removal is typically an in-office procedure. There are several ways Dr. Adams can remove a mole:
A surgical shave involves slicing the mole off your skin with a special blade. Following the shave, your mole goes for lab analysis to check for cancer cells.
Excision means cutting out the entire mole. You might need stitches after a surgical excision. Again, the mole goes to the lab to see if there are any signs of cancer.
Dr. Adams uses the least damaging technique possible when performing mole removal to minimize scarring.
Warts aren’t the same as moles. They’re caused by a virus, usually HPV — the human papillomavirus. Warts are often more raised than moles, creating hard lumps on your skin. You can also get plantar warts (verrucae) on your feet, which are flat, hard spots under the skin.
Warts don’t usually cause any problems and are rarely cancerous. However, they can be unattractive or uncomfortable, and you might pass the virus on to other people.
If you have troublesome warts, Dr. Adams can use various treatments, including liquids that eliminate the wart and cryotherapy to freeze it. In some cases, warts can be treatment-resistant, in which case, Dr. Adams can perform wart removal.
If you have a wart or a mole that’s new or changing, get a prompt diagnosis and treatment at Twelve Bridges Dermatology. Call the office or book an appointment online today.