Benign Moles and Mole Removal
Moles are common skin growths. They often appear as small, raised bumps that can change and grow over time. Most moles or nevi (also known as intradermal nevi) are harmless (benign) and occur normally over time. However, moles need to be watched by patients and evaluated regularly by a board-certified dermatologist in order to ensure they do not become cancerous.
For the following discussion of moles on this page, we are strictly discussing benign nevi – moles that have been medically determined to be harmless.
If a mole is medically deemed to be benign but is bothersome, irritated, or unattractive, consider having the mole removed at Skin and Laser Dermatology Center. Our trained providers can evaluate and determine the best method of removal. Most moles can usually be removed during the same office visit as the consultation.
A related skin condition to moles (intradermal nevi) is dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN). People with darker skin may develop DPN, a harmless skin condition where small, dark bumps develop on the skin. These bumps usually appear on the neck, face, upper back, and chest as smooth, round, and flat brown or black bumps during adolescence. For patients who are concerned with the appearance or discomfort of their DPNs, the providers at S&L Dermatology Center perform several procedures using either lasers or surgical removal that can improve and reduce their appearance.
What causes moles?
Moles occur when pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) in the skin cluster together instead of spreading smoothly across the skin.
Where do most moles appear?
Most moles occur on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun but they can occur anywhere on the body.
How many moles do people commonly develop?
Nearly every adult has a few moles. Many adults with light skin tend to have between 10 and 40 moles on their body by the time they reach their mid 20’s. People with 50 or more moles are at a higher risk of getting melanoma (a potentially deadly skin cancer) and should be evaluated regularly by a dermatology provider.
Should I be concerned about new or changing moles?
Moles can change slowly over time, including during pregnancy and adolescence, and may darken with exposure to the sun. While most moles may be benign, if you notice a new mole or one that seems to be growing or changing in color, shape, symmetry or the borders become irregular, have it evaluated by a dermatology provider promptly. It is especially important to have moles evaluated if they bleed, itch, or become tender or painful. We recommend coming in for a full body skin check on a regular basis to evaluate moles and overall skin health.
What treatments are there for mole removal?
The most common mole removal options include surgical shave removal and laser removal. Depending on the size, location, and type of mole, the providers at S&L Dermatology Center will determine the best removal option for each patient. Patients interested in mole removal services and evaluations can call today for a cosmetic consultation at (703) 893-1114.
How long does mole removal take?
Depending on the type of treatment and the appearance of the mole, patients can expect slightly different procedural times. Surgical shaving of the mole generally takes a short period of time and can usually be done at the same time as consultation. The area is locally numbed and the mole is surgically removed. Patients should refrain from vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours though usual activities including errands and walking are okay. Some scarring is possible though the providers at S&L Dermatology Center will work with you to minimize any potential scarring. Laser removal is also usually available on same-day appointments and can take up to an hour depending on the amount of time needed to allow the topical numbing agent to take effect.
Skin & Laser Dermatology Center treats patients for all skin care concerns, including skin cancer surgery, cosmetic dermatology, sclerotherapy, laser peels, laser hair removal, hyperhidrosis, rosacea, and acne treatments.
Our Clients Say
My eyelid surgery results for the facial wrinkles look very natural. Very skilled dermatologic surgeon.
Dr. Bajoghli always has time for his patients, you never feel that he is rushing you and after you leave if you have any concerns he is very responsive to the point of giving out his cell phone number. I can’t say enough about him and his staff.
Nurse Rassmussen answers all of my questions, listens to my concerns, examines my skin, goes over my treatment protocol and gets me out the door quickly, but without feeling rushed, so that I can get on with the rest of my day. I have already recommended this practice to a couple of friends, and I will continue to do so with confidence.
I really appreciate the polite and professional service that Dr. Bajoghli’s practice provides in my dermatologic health. All of his staff make you feel welcome and are concerned for your care. Speaking as someone who neglected his skin care when I was young, I appreciate having a physician who is personally concerned for his patients.