Benign moles are a common occurrence found in the majority of the population, and its removal is typically not considered medically necessary. However, if you are not pleased with the appearance of your mole or choose to remove it for personal preference, moles can be safely and electively removed for cosmetic reasons.
Here at Wall Street Dermatology we can offer expert benign mole removal via an individualized approach.
What are Moles?
There are many different types of “brown spots” or growths that develop on our skin, all of which derive from the pigment-producing cell of the skin called the melanocyte. While this topic can easily become a much more complicated discussion of the various growth patterns of pigmented skin cells, suffice it to say that not all “brown spots” are necessarily moles, and it often takes the expertise of a dermatologist to provide an accurate diagnosis of what a “brown spot” or “mole” diagnostically is. What are casually referred to as benign “moles” or “beauty marks” are more appropriately and precisely termed “benign nevus” in medical terminology to refer to a group of melanocytes that divide and grow locally in a controlled fashion and therefore pose no medical issues. Depending on the depth of growth, benign nevi or moles can either be flat or raised and vary in shade of brown.
Benign Moles/Nevi can be classified into one of two broad categories:
- Congenital - moles which you have had since birth
- Acquired - moles which appear at any time during your life
These are pigmented growths that exhibit highly regular and symmetrical physical characteristics. Your dermatologist will be able to provide the diagnosis when in doubt. Although not within the scope of discussion in this particular section, there are some moles or nevi that are more appropriately classified as atypical and have irregular physical characteristics which may warrant further medical evaluation and treatment, and which do not qualify for cosmetic mole removal.
Why Do We Get Benign Moles?
There are a number of different factors which contribute to mole formation, but this can be nicely summarized as a combination of genetics and environment. Fair-skinned people and those with a family history are more likely to develop moles. Age and (time-dependent) sun exposure also contribute.
Most moles are of no medical concern, but new moles or existing moles that change shape or color may warrant immediate medical evaluation.
Can Moles be Prevented?
While it is impossible to completely prevent moles from developing, you can decrease your probabilities by active avoidance of sun exposure, using sunscreen every day (even when it’s cloudy), and wearing sun protective hats and clothing.
Should I Get My Benign Mole Removed?
Deciding whether to get a benign mole removed is a very personal decision, as its removal is not considered medically necessary. If its appearance causes some level of aesthetic annoyance, displeasure, or anxiety, cosmetic mole removal should be considered.
How Does Wall Street Dermatology Treat Benign Moles?
At Wall Street Dermatology, our aesthetic focus allows us to perform cosmetic mole removal with the most advanced surgical techniques that minimize scarring. There is never a “one size fits all” approach. Rather, the treatment regimen and surgical techniques are individualized for each patient. Contact us today to find out more.
FAQs About Cosmetic Mole Removal in NYC
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive about cosmetic mole removal in NYC.
Can anyone have a mole removed?
Cosmetic mole removal in NYC is a very safe procedure which only involves the use of a local anesthetic. This means that mole removal surgery can be performed in the majority of the population. However, cosmetic mole removal is considered a medically unnecessary procedure that is not covered by insurance.
Where on my body can I have a mole removed?
You can have a mole removed from anywhere on the skin of the body, pending no other active medical problems in the area of removal. Mole removal anywhere on the nonskin, mucosal surfaces will require another specialist depending on the area of the body.
Will it hurt to have a mole removed?
There is mild discomfort associated only with injection of local anesthesia. There is no pain during the procedure because of the local anesthesia. Cosmetic mole removal involves techniques that minimizes the tissue trauma.
As the anesthetic wears off you may feel a small amount of soreness but this can be easily controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
What exactly is the procedure or technique?
A cosmetic consultation appointment is required exactly for the purpose of answering this question. The exact procedure or technique depends on a number of individual factors, including patient’s personal preferences, quality of skin, and the size, depth, and location of the mole. During your consultation, Dr. Tzu will carefully evaluate all of these factors, before coming up with the best procedure for your best cosmetic outcome. We will then be able to discuss the procedure in depth so that you have a clear understanding of whether you are an appropriate candidate for the procedure, costs of the procedure, the time involved and follow-up appointments needed, how to prepare for the procedure, the details of how the procedure will be carried out, expectations after the procedure, and how to care for the site after the procedure.
Sutures (“ stitches”) may be needed in some surgical cosmetic mole removals. If this is the case, we will discuss with you follow-up aftercare instructions, activities to avoid after the procedure, and follow-up appointment scheduling.
Will I be left with a scar?
While all procedures in general leave some level of a mark on the skin, cosmetic procedures are different from medical procedures in that the techniques involved are designed to minimize the amount of scarring and maximize cosmesis. Our double board certified, double fellowship trained dermatologist, Dr. Julia Tzu, is one of the most highly trained and respected surgical and cosmetic dermatologist in the world, and is prepared to help you achieve the best outcome.
What can I expect after the mole has been removed?
Immediately after the procedure, the area will be pink and inflamed, because this is the short-term outcome after any procedure in general, and simply represents basic biological healing mechanisms at play. The pinkness and swelling will be reduced week by week. A small scab may also form in the treatment area if there is an open wound. This will heal in the same way as any small wound. The ultimate cosmesis of a postsurgical scar may take months to a year for it to reach its final visibly minimized state.
Do I need to rest following the procedure?
Cosmetic mole removal is usually a very minor procedure that does not significantly alter one’s ability to perform day to day activities. Most people are able to return to routine office work immediately after cosmetic mole removal. You will receive comprehensive aftercare instructions to walk you through what to do over the next several days to weeks.
Keeping the treatment area clean and protected, avoiding sun exposure, and avoiding excessive motion or rubbing in the area, especially for sutured (“stitched”) areas is generally recommended. You may experience a little discomfort in the area but this can be easily alleviated with over the counter pain medications.
Is it possible for the mole to come back?
It is always possible for any growth or mole to grow back after removal. The probability of regrowth will depend on the type of removal method chosen. As a general rule, the more invasive the procedure, the less likely the probability for regrowth. During your consultation, Dr. Tzu will discuss with you all of your options for mole removal including the likelihood for regrowth associated with each procedure.
Call Wall Street Dermatology to schedule a consultation with us today.