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La Mesa, CA dermatologist answers questions about mole removal

Posted on: February 21st, 2018 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

Almost everyone will have a mole at some time during their lives. Some people choose to have moles removed for cosmetic reasons, while others do so at the recommendation of a dermatologist. Many have questions about this procedure. Our Board-certified dermatologists at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic in La Mesa, CA answers common concerns about mole removal.

Are all moles dangerous? 

Only a small percentage of moles are cancerous. You are at higher risk if you have many large, dark moles and a family history of skin cancer, but any single mole can be cancerous. Plus, it is difficult for someone without medical training to identify suspicious spots. In addition, the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the type that most resembles a harmless mole, is on the rise in our country. Melanoma can progress quickly, spreading to other organs. 

How are moles removed? 

An experienced dermatologist has many mole removal methods at his disposal. The goal is to create the smallest wound possible while eliminating the entire growth and preserving a sample for biopsy if needed. The most common technique is surgical excision. Skin tags and surface moles may be snipped, cut, or shaved flush with skin. Some moles extend into deeper layers, requiring a small, sutured incision.

Are mole removals painful?

Regardless of the treatment modality utilized, the area is numbed with an injection of local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. Mole removal is very quick. There can be some post-procedure tenderness, but typically no medication is needed to tolerate discomfort during healing.


Do you have more questions about mole removal? Call [phone] to schedule an appointment at Grossmont Dermatology for consultation or full-body skin cancer screening.


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Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology