Moles, medically known as nevi, are clusters of pigmented cells that appear as small, dark spots on the skin, and can vary greatly in size and color. Moles typically appear on the face, arms, legs, and torso, but can develop anywhere on the body. A dermatology provider can determine whether a mole is abnormal or benign (harmless). Some patients opt to have benign moles removed for cosmetic reasons, which is typically not covered by insurance. The different methods for cosmetic mole removal include: (1) shave excision for moles that are raised above the skin, involving application of a local anesthetic to the area surrounding the mole, and then a small blade used to shave down the surface of the mole so that it is flush with the surrounding skin; (2) punch biopsy for smaller skin moles, involving use of a special device to “punch out”; a cylinder-shaped piece of skin and then the wound is closed with stitches; or (3) excisional surgery for moles that are flat, involving the mole to be cut out entirely and the wound is closed with stitches.
MGP Knott Street Dermatology



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