Moles

Naaman Clinic -  - Dermatologist

Naaman Clinic

Dermatologists & Skin Cancer Specialists located in Birmingham, AL & Montgomery, AL

Moles aren’t anything to worry about. In some cases though, they can start to change shape and color, which can signal early warning signs of skin cancer. Other times, moles are just in locations that make you feel uncomfortable because of their appearance. At Naaman Clinic, leading dermatologist Evans Bailey, MD, Ph.D., and his caring team can evaluate your moles through mole mapping and remove them if needed. Dr. Bailey specializes in ensuring you have minimal scarring afterward. You can call either the Birmingham or Montgomery, Alabama office, or schedule an appointment through the website.

Moles Q & A

What causes moles?

Some people are just born with moles, while other times, they surface throughout your lifetime. Your genetics play a big part of whether or not you have moles and if they’re likely to become dysplastic, or atypical. Medical experts also find that sun exposure plays a role in mole appearance.

Skin cells known as melanocytes are what gives your skin its natural color. Sometimes these cells grow in clusters, rather than spreading out throughout your skin. The more sun exposure these clusters get, the darker they become. These clusters can also darken during pregnancy.

How does mole mapping work?

While most moles are benign and aren’t a concern, they sometimes develop into something serious. Mole mapping is a way to monitor your moles to track early warning signs of skin cancer. Dr. Bailey takes photographs of suspicious moles to meticulously document how your moles change (if they change at all).

Mole mapping gives Dr. Bailey and his team the ability to recognize the slightest changes in your moles that may otherwise be overlooked. By mapping and tracking your mole changes, you avoid going through any unnecessary biopsies and can feel confident that your moles are thoroughly monitored.

Do I need to have moles removed?

If Dr. Bailey finds that a mole looks suspicious, he may suggest removing it for a biopsy. It might be time to remove a mole if it is:

  • Asymmetrical or has irregular borders
  • Contains multiple colors
  • Is greater than ¼ inch in diameter
  • Changes in size or shape

Removing a mole is done right in the office with a local anesthetic injection. After Dr. Bailey thoroughly numbs the area, he gently shaves off the mole and some of the surrounding tissue. To help stop any bleeding, he then uses an electrical instrument to cauterize, or burn, the area where the mole was located.

You may or may not need stitches, depending on the size of the mole you had removed. The entire process takes only a few minutes per mole, and because Dr. Bailey completely numbs your treatment area, you won’t feel a thing. The process is the same if you are having a mole removed for cosmetic reasons.

If you have a suspicious mole or haven’t had a skin check in a while, book an appointment at Naaman Clinic. Schedule online or over the phone at either location.

* Individual results may vary.