A mole or a skin tag can appear anywhere on the body. It is a cluster of black, brown, or skin colour cells that usually appear before the age of 20. Most of them are not cancerous.
You need to show a mole to a doctor if it occurs later in life and if you notice its colour, shape, and size change. If it has cancer cells, the doctor will remove them immediately, and you must keep a watch if it grows again.
Generally, people get a mole removed if they do not feel at ease with it, if it hampers their appearance or daily schedule, or if it is carcinogenic.
How to Find Out Whether a Mole Is Cancerous or Not?
To determine whether a mole is cancerous, you need to consult a doctor.
- The doctor would examine the mole.
- If they find it abnormal, they take a tissue sample for testing.
- The doctor may refer you to a skin specialist.
- The tissue sample would be sent to a laboratory for testing. This process is called a biopsy.
- A positive report of the same would indicate it is cancerous
- The skin specialist would recommend the removal of the mole along with excision of the surrounding area to remove the cancer cells.
Removing a mole
Mole removal is a simple procedure and can be done in two ways. The doctor may do so in his clinic or at a hospital outpatient centre. The two ways of removing a mole are:
Surgical excision- Under this mole removal procedure, the mole area would be numbed, and the doctor would use a scalpel or a sharp blade, circular in shape, to remove the mole and some healthy skin around it. Thereafter, they would stitch back the skin.
Surgical shave- When the moles are small, it is removed by a surgical shave. The doctor would numb the area and use a blade to shave off the mole, along with some tissues lying underneath. This kind of mole removal does not require stitching.
Risks Involved, and After-Effects of Getting a Mole Removed
On getting a mole removed, there would remain a scar. However, the biggest risk post removal is that the area may get infected. To avoid this, you need to take care to help the wound heal. Follow the doctor’s instructions and keep the wound clean, moist, and covered.
The area might bleed a little post-surgery, primarily if the doctor has given medicines to thin the blood. In such a situation, you need to hold the area while applying pressure, for 20 minutes, with a gauge or a cloth piece.
If it is a normal mole, it would not appear again, but if it is cancerous, you need to closely check any further developments in and around the affected area and keep the doctor posted at all times.
Removing a Skin Tag
Skin tags appear more on areas where the skin rubs frequently, or in folds, like the armpits, eyelids, under the breasts, in the groins, etc. These are flesh-coloured tissues in the form of small flaps that hang from the skin by a thin stalk. It is not common in children.
Skin tags are found more often in pregnant women, overweight people, or those with diabetes.
Skin tags are generally painless and harmless. However, they might be irritated if they come in the way or get snagged by clothes and jewellery, and hence you may want to get it removed.
To remove a skin tag, your doctor may do it in any one of the following ways:
- Snipping- The doctor would use special scissors to cut off the skin tag by numbing the area.
- Freezing- It is also called ‘cryotherapy.’ Under this method, extremely cold nitrogen is used to remove the skin tag. Under this procedure, the skin tag would fall off 10-15 days after the treatment.
- Burning- Under this method, the tissue attaching the skin tag to the skin is dried out using electrodes to send electron current through it into the skin growth. After that, the skin tag dries and falls off automatically.
Once a skin tag is removed, it does not appear again in the same area. However, it may appear somewhere else, on other parts of the skin.
Mole or skin tag removal is a straightforward procedure, but you need to have a doctor who is an expert in it. Max Healthcare has a specialised team of doctors who are equipped to remove a mole or skin tag.
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