MolesView More Before & Afters
Discover more about skin cancer protection, dangerous moles, and the skin mole removal procedure.
Moles are dark spots that appear in different areas of the body. They come in many different shapes and sizes and they can sometimes signal an early stage of cancer or other concern. While moles are often left untreated, it’s important to have them checked when they grow at an alarming rate, bleed, turn significantly darker or appear much larger than normal.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist at Schlessinger MD in Omaha, can assess your moles and remove them, if necessary. He has the medical background to recognize suspicious moles and the surgical skill and training as a cosmetic surgeon to remove them cosmetically. Dark, flat moles are the ones that can often cause problems, including melanoma, especially if they change dramatically over time.
I am so impressed with the care I received here. The nurses are wonderful and Dr. Jackie is beyond knowledgeable and so attentive to every concern. She quickly diagnosed the issue and proactively consulted with me about removing two suspicious moles which was completed the same day. The staff members are all incredibly personable, genuine and highly empathetic.
– Brandi B.Read More Patient Reviews
Before & Afters
These are unretouched photos of Dr. Schlessinger’s own patients
What are moles?
Moles are also called nevi (one mole is a nevus) and can be any irregularity or dark spot on the skin such as a birthmark. Things that aren’t moles, but often confused with this are red spots caused by blood vessels (called a hemangioma), and seborrheic keratoses (benign hereditary growths) or actinic keratoses, which are scaly precancerous spots that often start to appear later in life after significant sun exposure.
You may have been born with a mole or two or more, but more will form throughout your life. They can be the result of outside factors like excessive sun exposure but also the result of genetic predisposition. If you have a family history of developing many moles, you have a higher chance of developing them yourself. Knowing your family history and scheduling regular appointments with Dr. Schlessinger or his associates can help keep your worries at bay. If there is a family history of concerning moles or melanoma, yearly visits are recommended.
Dr. Schlessinger and his associates are very thorough in their analysis of moles and recommend a full skin exam in cases where moles can be serious. This takes only a few minutes and can reassure you that you have been carefully and completely evaluated. They often use a dermatoscope, which allows them to see the exact architecture of a mole without any surgery. This is a special technique that Dr. Schlessinger and his associates have been trained in over years of education.
Know your ABCDE’s About Dangerous Moles
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Body Mole Map to help detect and track dangerous moles.
Recognize the warning signs of dangerous moles that can turn into skin cancer (malignant melanoma) by using this easy-to-remember guide:
A stands for asymmetry. Beware of moles where one half doesn’t match the other half in shape.
B stands for border. Watch for moles with ragged, blurred or irregular borders or edges.
C stands for color. Look for uneven coloration, more than one color, or moles with unusual colors.
D stands for diameter. Give special attention to moles with a diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser (though this is the least sensitive of all the signs).
E stands evolving. Moles may change or grow in shape over time.
Keeping an eye on moles is an important part of your total skin health. If you have a mole that fits these descriptions or see any moles that have changed in appearance, color, or size, please contact Schlessinger MD for an appointment.
How are moles removed?
Not all moles need to be removed. Some are harmless and stay the same throughout your lifetime. Dr. Schlessinger can assess which mole or moles should be removed and checked for cancer cells. You can also choose to remove moles for cosmetic reasons if they appear in embarrassing areas of the body
Dr. Schlessinger practices various methods of mole removal. From surgical shaving to cauterization, there are a myriad of treatment options that are highly effective against moles. The method chosen is determined by the depth of the mole into the skin, along with cosmetic considerations.
The Procedure for Mole Removal
Mole removal is a simple and fairly quick office procedure. You will be comfortably seated, reclining, or lying down, depending on where the mole to be removed is located. First, the area is cleansed and Dr. Schlessinger or his nurse will use a fine needle to administer a numbing solution. Once the area is numb, Dr. Schlessinger uses a scalpel to shave the mole off at the skin level. He may use an electrical cauterization instrument to stop any bleeding. A topical medicine such as Polysporin is placed on the wound, which is then covered with a bandage. For deeper moles, Dr. Schlessinger may cut the mole and the surrounding area using a round punch instrument or a scalpel and sutures to remove the suspicious tissue.
After the procedure, you will be given instructions on how to properly take care of your wound. These instructions will include proper ointment application and considerations you should be aware of when changing your bandages and keeping the treatment area protected.
There may be some discomfort in the treatment area, but we can provide medication to help you feel more comfortable as you heal. The extracted tissue will be sent to a lab for testing. If any signs of skin cancer are detected, Dr. Schlessinger will notify you, In cases of skin cancer, a future visit will be necessary and Dr. Schlessinger may perform Moh’s surgery (a specialized treatment that Dr. Schlessinger is trained in) to remove any remaining skin with skin cancer cells present.
“In my 25 plus years as a dermatologist, I have seen a significant increase in moles that turn to skin cancer. In addition to protecting your skin, it is vital to self-examine every month for changing moles and see a dermatologist if you encounter changes or concerning moles.”