The mole or nevus is a small, usually pigmented area on the skin which may be flat or raised. It may appear anywhere on the body, and may be present from birth. In general, most people develop between 60 and 100 moles during their lifetime. Many of these begin to appear in and around puberty. In many cases, a nevus cannot be distinguished by its appearance from a freckle.
Considerations for mole and wart removal include:
- If you have had an “atypical” or abnormal mole, or if there is a history of melanoma in your family, annual skin exams should be performed by a dermatologist to screen for irregular moles and skin cancer.
- A nevus showing increased size, scaling, bleeding or any change in color or firmness.
- A nevus subject to chronic irritation, such as a shoulder strap, bra, razor, belt, etc.
- Removal of congenital moles, or moles present since birth, is recommended as there is a higher incidence of developing malignant melanoma in this type of lesion than in those which arise later in life.
- A nevus mole may be removed if the patient considers it unsightly from a cosmetic point of view. There may be a surgical scar, depending on the site of the location of the mole.
- The removal of a mole does not cause cancer or induce cancer in that mole.
- Moles on the palms, soles or genitalia should be removed because of an incidence of malignant changes. This particular problem has been under investigation for years, and the present feeling is that moles in these areas do not have any increased predisposition to undergo malignant change.