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Mole Removal

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Mole Removal

Mole Removal

Types of Moles

Moles, also known as nevi, are common skin growths that can appear anywhere on the body. They come in different types based on their characteristics and location within the skin layers:

  • Intradermal Nevus: These moles are located within the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin. They often appear as raised, flesh-colored or lightly pigmented bumps and are usually benign.
  • Junctional Nevus: Found at the junction between the epidermis and dermis, these moles are typically flat and uniformly pigmented, often appearing as small, dark spots.
  • Compound Nevus: These moles have features of both intradermal and junctional nevi, meaning they involve both the epidermis and dermis. They are usually slightly raised and pigmented.

Normal Benign Moles vs. Changing Moles

While most moles are benign and pose no health risks, it is crucial to monitor them for any changes. Normal moles generally maintain a consistent size, shape, and color. In contrast, changing moles can be a sign of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. The ABCDEs of melanoma are essential guidelines for identifying potentially malignant moles:

  • A - Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • B - Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, or blurred.
  • C - Color: The color is not uniform and may include shades of brown, black, or even red, white, or blue.
  • D - Diameter: The mole is larger than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser), although melanomas can be smaller.
  • E - Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color over time.

Importance of Annual Skin Check

Regular skin checks are essential for early detection of skin cancer, including melanoma. Annual skin examinations by a dermatologist can help identify suspicious moles and other skin changes that may require further investigation. Early detection and treatment of skin cancer significantly increase the chances of successful outcomes.

What Is an Atypical Nevus?

Atypical nevi, or dysplastic moles, are moles that have unusual features under microscopic examination. They are classified based on the degree of cytological atypia, which refers to abnormal cell appearance:

  • Mild Atypia: Moles with mild atypia may be monitored with regular skin checks and do not always require removal.
  • Moderate to Severe Atypia: Moles with moderate or severe atypia have a higher risk of developing into melanoma and typically require complete excision after the initial biopsy to ensure all atypical cells are removed.

Raised Mole Removal Options

Raised moles can be excised using several methods:

  • Punch Biopsy: This method involves using a circular blade to remove a small, cylindrical piece of skin, including the mole.
  • Excision: The mole is cut out entirely with a scalpel, along with a margin of surrounding skin to ensure complete removal.
  • Shave Biopsy: The mole is shaved off at the surface of the skin. This method results in a more aesthetically pleasing scar but has a higher rate of recurrence because the deeper roots of the nevi are not removed.

Other removal therapies, such as laser therapy, although popular in medical spas, are typically not recommended. Laser treatment has a high rate of recurrence and can create clinically atypical appearing nevi, which may complicate future skin checks by healthcare providers.

Insurance Coverage

Cosmetic mole removal for aesthetic purposes is not covered by insurance. However, if a mole shows signs of change, such as darkening, or if there are other concerning features, insurance may cover the removal and biopsy. Coverage depends on the provider’s discretion and the specific insurance policy.

Where Can Moles Be Found?

Moles can appear on various parts of the body, not just the skin. They can be found on the hands and feet, scalp, eyes, inside the mouth, ears, genitals, and even under the nails. It is essential to rule out melanoma in these areas, especially if a mole appears unusual. Dermatoscopy, a non-invasive skin examination technique, is often used to evaluate moles more closely. If a mole is suspicious, a biopsy may be performed to determine if it is benign or malignant.

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Newport (OC): 714-712-0438
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Monterey Park: 626-635-1688

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Patient success stories

Evlyn O.

As a teenager, I suffered from cystic acne which left some indented acne scars behind. I often felt self-conscious about those scars and decided to make an appointment with Dr. Sung after reading all his amazing reviews. I saw Dr. Sung for a cosmetic consultation and he attentively listened to all my concerns and recommended we try using fillers to fill in the small pits.

Dr. Sung and his wonderful assistant Mary made my first time getting fillers as comfortable and painless as possible. It has only been a few days since the procedure but I can already see a huge improvement in the appearance of my scars. I can finally feel confident in my own skin! Overall, I had a great experience at True Dermatology and would definitely return for all my skin needs. Dr. Sung is a kindhearted and highly-skilled dermatologist who really cares about his patients and I would highly recommend him to all my family and friends.

Gerardo L.

I am an ER physician and a couple of weeks ago my nephew developed a skin condition that I had not seen before. I consulted Dr. Sung right away and sent him a picture. He replied in less than a minute with the diagnosis and treatment. I sent it to my nephews doctors who also didn't know what it was. They were able to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment right away.

Without Dr. Sun's quick diagnosis there would have been a delay of treatment and the infection could have spread to my nephews brain. Luckily it didn't and my nephew is back at home now laughing and playing as before. I went to medical school with Dr. Sung. He was the top student in our class all 4 years and I knew if there is anyone who would have an answer it was going to be him and he did. I knew that he is still the best and is always studying the latest research papers. This is the kind of dermatologist you want taking care of your skin.