Health Tips: How To Know When It's Time To Have A Mole Removed

When moles change color or shape, it can be a symptom of something serious or dangerous. Learn how to tell when and if it should be examined by a doctor.

People are susceptible to many different skin blemishes. Freckles, moles or other marks appear on people of any culture or class. As people get older, even more blemishes may appear even though they were never there before. It's a little know fact that the average young adult has somewhere between 10 to 30 moles on their body, most of which are not a bother and pose no health threat whatsoever, but occasionally a mole is malignant and needs to be removed. It is difficult to say absolutely if a mole is malignant until it is removed and a biopsy done to verify it. A physician should look at any mole in question to decide if it could be malignant, and make a recommendation about the possible removal of the mole. In some cases, a mole can be on your body for years, and then suddenly begin to change. The mole could get bigger, begin to change shapes or can change to pink, black, red or sometimes blue.These are all signs that the mole could be malignant. If a mole is changing in any way, don't put off going to the doctor about it, as it can cause further health problems. If a mole itches frequently, bleeds or feels sore, even if it's only occasionally, have the mole examined right away.

After examining the mole, the doctor will make his recommendation, but if he feels like the mole is benign, or non-cancerous, he will probably want you to make a future appointment so the mole can be re-examined. If he thinks the mole is malignant, or cancerous, he will probably want to do the removal immediately. The method of removal is a simple process. The area is made numb, and then a special apparatus is used to cut around the mole, excising it and the roots. A stitch or two might be required to close the area. The mole is preserved in a solution and sent to the lab. Often, moles can be burned away, but your doctor will recommend which method he thinks best. If he thinks the mole is malignant, you will probably have to have it excised rather than burned. The doctor will generally call you within a few days to give you the results of the tests. If the mole was found to be malignant, your physician might suggest that even more tissue be removed from the area where the malignancy was located to be sure that all cancerous tissue has been removed. The physician might then require you to make another appointment to have other moles examined further. He probably requests that you make a couple of appointments a year to have moles examined. Often after one malignant mole is found, others are also located either immediately or in the future, so it's important to keep a close eye on them.

Certain moles are removed simply for cosmetic reasons. Some moles lay flat, but others raise well above the skin level, causing a problem when located in particular areas of the body. A mole on the face can be a bother for a man while shaving, or can be an embarrassment to anyone, if it's on the end of their nose. Likewise, a mole in the armpit of a woman can be cut while shaving, causing not only pain, but additional problems as well. Some insurance policies will only cover mole removal if they are in a location that is uncomfortable, like the back of your heel, or if they are thought to be malignant. Many companies will not pay simply for cosmetic removal so check your policy before scheduling the cosmetic removal of a mole.

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