Moles, or nevi, are frequently removed for a variety of reasons. They can be removed by two surgical methods:
• Excision (cutting), with or without stitches
• Shave removal using a scalpel blade without stitches
Although laser excision has been tried for moles, it is not the method of choice for most deep moles because the laser light doesn’t penetrate deeply enough, and there is no tissue remaining to examine pathologically.
Typically, the dermatologist (a skin specialist) may choose excision with or without stitches, depending on the depth of the mole and the type of cosmetic outcome desired.
What causes moles?
• Some people are born with moles. Other moles appear later in life.
• Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of moles and may even play a role in the development of atypical, or dysplastic, moles.
• The role of heredity cannot be overstated. Many families have a type of mole known as dysplastic (atypical), which can be associated with a higher frequency of melanoma.