Most moles do not require treatment, but facial moles are often removed for aesthetic and comfort reasons. Some moles can be cut or shaved off with a surgical scalpel, while others require a deeper incision. It is important to have mole removal on the face and other more visible areas performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Moles are collections of melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) that reside toward the top layer of skin. They can be brown, black, blue, or flesh-colored, flat, or raised. Moles occur as a natural part of skin development, influenced by sun exposure and genetics. Some are present at birth; however, the majority develop during childhood and young adulthood, with new moles continuing to develop later in life.
Most unsightly or abnormal facial moles can be excised in a quick, straightforward, outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. The technique used will depend on the type of mole.
Moles are made up of living cells and may produce more melanin, becoming darker, with sun exposure and time. While moles may respond to hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and hormonal therapy with changes in appearance, it is prudent to seek medical advice for changes in a mole’s appearance over time to assess any possible risk of skin cancer.
Moles and skin tags are not the same type of growth. Moles are made up of cells that produce pigment. Skin tags are small, painless, soft pieces of skin on a narrow stalk that stick out. They are usually skin-colored but may also be darker in color.
Yes. While many moles are completely benign and pose no health risk whatsoever, several kinds of skin lesions can develop into cancer. One especially dangerous example of this phenomenon is a melanoma. This aggressive form of skin cancer can develop from a previously benign-appearing mole or as a new growth on the skin. If you suspect a mole may pose a risk of melanoma, please seek medical help immediately. Warning signs for dangerous moles can be found here.
If you need a mole removed in a sensitive area, such as the mouth, the eyelids, near the eyes, or any location on the face, consider a plastic surgeon with extensive training in facial anatomy. Dr. Smith is not only skilled in mole removal, but also in minimizing scarring, and in skin resurfacing and scar revision procedures, should they become necessary.