Mole Removal

Dermatology located in Fairfax, VA

Having at least one mole on your body is common, but if you notice new moles pop up or see changes in the shape or color, you may need mole removal. At Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax, the expert team of board-certified dermatologists can examine your moles and determine if they show signs of skin cancer and treat it effectively. To learn more, call the friendly staff in Fairfax, Virginia, or use the online scheduling tool now.

What is a mole?

A mole is a common skin growth composed of pigment cells called melanocytes. These cells are responsible for giving color to the skin. Moles can vary in appearance, appearing as small, dark spots or larger, raised lesions. While moles are typically harmless, specific characteristics may prompt consideration for mole removal.

When is mole removal necessary?

You should consider mole removal when a mole looks like it has signs of potential malignancy or if it poses cosmetic concerns. 

A key factor in assessing the need for removal is the ABCDE criteria: 

  • Asymmetry
  • Irregular borders
  • Varied color
  • Diameter larger than 6 millimeters
  • Evolving size, shape, or color over time

Any mole displaying these features should be evaluated by a dermatologist for potential removal to rule out the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma.

What is a mole removal procedure like?

At Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax, the mole removal procedure involves several steps. Before your procedure, your provider typically numbs the area with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. 

The removal technique varies based on the characteristics of the mole and the reason for removal. 

Excision, or cutting out the mole, is a common method for larger moles or those suspected of being cancerous. Shave excision is used for protruding moles that are raised above the skin surface, involving a shallow cut to remove the mole. 

Laser removal is another option, particularly for smaller moles that aren’t deeply rooted.

Do all moles require mole removal?

The answer is no. Many moles are benign and don’t pose any health risks. However, if a mole changes in size, shape, or color, or becomes symptomatic, you should see a specialist at Integrated Dermatology of Fairfax.

Also, if a mole is constantly irritated due to friction with clothing or accessories, or if it causes cosmetic concerns, you may choose to have it removed for comfort or aesthetic reasons.

In addition to regular self-examinations of moles and routine skin checks, your dermatologist can assess the individual characteristics of each mole and determine the most appropriate course of action based on medical and cosmetic considerations.

To book an appointment, call or use the online scheduling tool today.