Moles and Growths
Most people have moles and growths, especially those who routinely get sun exposure. Due to the increase in skin cancer cases over the past several years, a greater sense of awareness about moles and growths has occurred. The physicians at Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia, Inc. have years of education and training. We seek to educate our patients and assist those who may require treatment for skin cancer. We perform meticulous skin cancer examinations and discuss steps that can minimize the risk for abnormal cell growth.
Moles and growths have a variety of forms. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine if a lesion should be removed. During a personal consultation with your dermatologist, you can learn more about your skin and the types of growths we may want to assess further. Some of the common growths that we observe include moles, seborrheic keratoses, oil-gland cysts, skin tags, sun spots, and freckles. If treatment is necessary for any type of growth, it is planned around the growth’s location and size, as well as skin type.
Growths and moles may be removed for several reasons. Typically, we will suggest removal after a tissue biopsy has been examined by a pathologist. Removal may also be planned to improve cosmetic appearance or physical comfort. For instance, a skin tag that catches on jewelry or clothing can cause persistent irritation. The growth can be removed in a simple office procedure.
Every mole and growth can be different. Our dermatologists have the necessary knowledge to make an accurate diagnosis, and to identify the most suitable technique for removal.
- Surgical excision is performed with local anesthetic, which numbs the tissue surrounding the growth. A precision technique is employed to gently excise the growth. Larger areas may require sutures to close the wound and minimize scarring.
- Shaving, or curettage, is another technique that may be used to gently remove excess tissue. This method leaves a flat, smooth surface.
- Growths may be frozen in a cryosurgery procedure.
- Heat may remove a growth. Before the cauterization procedure, tissue is numbed with local anesthetic.
- Innovative laser technology can be employed to remove growths or moles.