Moles are incredibly common spots on the body that generally go unnoticed. They are usually in some obscure location, but may also appear in a prominent position on the face or hands.

What are moles?

Moles are small spots on the skin that can be brown, tan, black, or red in color. They are usually symmetrical in shape with smooth borders, and have the same color throughout. Moles may be flat or raised, and are usually smooth, but can be rough as well.

The vast majority of moles are harmless, but if you notice any change in shape, color, or size, be sure to have it checked out for skin cancer. Melanoma, which is a dangerous type of skin cancer, often develops from growths that look a lot like moles. It is therefore important to have changing moles examined and tested early.

What causes moles?

Moles are formed when cells known as melanocytes bunch together in specific parts of the skin. Melanocytes produce melanin, which is the pigment responsible for giving color to the skin. When there is a concentration of melanocytes in any part of the body, dark spots such as moles are the result.

How are moles treated?

A mole is usually removed only if it becomes a cause for concern, or your doctor suspects it may be malignant. Traditional treatments include:

  • Surgical Shave: This is a short procedure done under local anesthetic, in which the mole is shaved away. A surgical shave is more suitable for raised moles.
  • Surgical excision: With this procedure a scalpel is used to remove the entire mole. The skin is then sutured, and a slight scar will be visible after healing.

At Skin Cancer Specialists, P.C. & Aesthetic Center, serving the greater Atlanta metro, we offer skin cancer and dermatological services that includes the treatment of moles, both malignant and benign. Call us to set up a consultation.