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The Dermatology Institute of Southern California has performed thousands of successful mole removal procedures on Beverly Hills and Santa Monica patients. While moles are very common and usually harmless, if you have moles that vary in shape, size and texture, it’s important to see a dermatologist regularly to check for signs of malignant melanoma. People with lots of dark irregular moles may have a greater chance of developing skin cancer. They should also learn to do regular self-examinations, looking for changes in the color, size or shape of their moles or the appearance of new moles.
Our dedicated team of dermatologists is qualified to perform skin biopsies and advanced procedures such as Mohs micrographic skin cancer surgery. In addition to performing a skin care self-examination, we recommend that patients see their dermatologist annually for a full body mole examination.
What is a Mole (Nevus)?
Everyone has moles, sometimes dozens or more. Most people think of a mole as a dark brown spot, but moles have a wide range different colors and textures. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, often hidden on the back or other concealed areas. Nevi (moles) are usually brown in color but can be flesh toned and vary in shape and size. While some people are born with moles, others develop over time. Sun exposure increases the number of moles, and they may darken with time. During the adolescent years and pregnancy, moles become darker and prominently increase throughout the body.
Moles Vary in Shape & Size
Each mole has its own growth pattern. At first, moles are flat and tan like a freckle, or they can be pink, brown or black in color. Over time, they usually enlarge and some develop hairs. Sometimes, as the years pass, moles can change slowly, becoming more raised and lighter in color. Some will not change at all. Some moles will slowly disappear, seeming to fade away. Others will become raised far from the skin. They may develop a small “stalk” and eventually fall off or are rubbed off.
Moles vs. Abnormal (Dysplastic/Atypical) Moles
Moles known as “dysplastic” or “atypical” moles are larger than average (usually larger than a pencil eraser) and irregular in shape. They tend to have uneven color with dark brown centers and lighter, sometimes reddish, uneven border or black dots at edge. These types of moles are often inherited genetically.
A Handy Guide to Melanoma
Assess your moles for the ABCDE melanoma warning signs:
A- Asymmetry: One side is different from the other
B- Border is irregular: Uneven or scalloped around the edges
C- Color: The color fades or varies from one portion to another
D- Diameter: Larger than 6mm, or than a common pencil eraser
E- Evolving: A mole that changes as time passes
It’s Time To Visit a Dermatologist
If you notice a strange mole on your body, schedule an appointment immediately with The Dermatology Institute of Southern California. Our expert dermatologists are thoroughly trained to identify moles that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous. Most procedures used to remove moles take only a short time and will be performed in the office. Sometimes a mole will recur after it is removed.
If a mole has been removed and begins to reappear, you should return to the dermatologist. Though many moles do not require treatment, our mole experts in Santa Monica would like to take a look, if:
- The mole itches, or rubs against clothing
- A patient simply doesn’t want the lesion
- The mole is potentially cancerous
- The mole itches or bleeds, or has any symptoms at all
- It is larger than 6 millimeter
- The mole is located in a concealed area, such as the scalp
- The mole is new or changing in any way
Advanced Detection with Dermoscopy
We are one of the few dermatology centers in the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica area to featured state of the art Dermoscopy. The advanced tool helps us examine and detect possible melanoma earlier than any other technology. We’re proud to offer valued patients this early diagnostics tool because our expert dermatologists know that early detection leads to healthier and happier clients. With the ability to visualize beneath the skin’s layers, doctors can view the progression of moles and determine if they are benign or malignant. Depending on their findings, patients may be recommended for a mole biopsy or excision.
The Mole Removal Process in Beverly Hills
Our team of experts performs mole removal using 3 different quick and effective methods. Their innovative techniques vary depending on your needs and type of lesion. Following treatment, The Dermatology Institute of Southern California will transfer the biopsy specimen to a laboratory for expert testing.
- Excisional biopsy (complete removal) – When dealing with flat or malignant moles, the dermatologist removes the entire mole and precisely stitches the wound closed.
- Punch biopsy (tissue removal) – For certain moles, like raised lesions, dysplastic nevi or small skin moles, the dermatologist uses a device to extract a cylindrical portion of skin.
- Shave biopsy (tissue removal) – In some cases of suspicious skin lesions, our surgical team uses a surgical blade razor to scrape the mole flat so that it blends in with surrounding skin. This leaves minimal scarring, or none at all, while removing enough tissue to be sent for laboratory pathology testing.
Visit the Team at The Dermatology institute of Southern California
Mole removal with our team of experts is simple and yields excellent results. Proudly serving patients across Santa Monica & Beverly Hills, we promise to reduce moles for both cosmetic and medical reasons. Our team of dermatologists carefully examines each patient and develops a customized skin-care plan to meet your needs.