Most moles are normal and can exist on your body without changing or causing problems. Occasionally, new moles pop up or old moles change and can cause concern or embarrassment. The procedures most commonly used to remove moles are either a shave biopsy or a punch biopsy. Any mole removed in our offices is sent to the lab for pathological assessment.
After numbing the skin, a shave biopsy consists of painlessly cutting the lesion off of the skin. After this procedure you will develop a scab that will heal within a couple of weeks. In some cases, you will be left with a small white round scar in the area that has been removed, which generally is less noticeable than the mole was.
A punch biopsy is like a very small cookie cutter that is used to cut the mole out. This goes deeper than a shave biopsy and usually one or two stitches are required to close the wound. The scar left from a punch biopsy is usually a small white line.
It is important to have any new or changing mole evaluated early on to assess for the possibilities of skin cancer. A regular skin exam is highly recommended, especially in those with previous skin cancers or who have family members with a history of skin cancer.