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How are moles removed?

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Quick Answer

Moles can be removed by surgical incision, burning or freezing, according to WebMD. The proper procedure depends on the size of the mole and whether or not the mole is cancerous.

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Full Answer

Moles that are cancerous are removed by cutting them off. For larger moles, doctors typically perform a surgical incision in which both the mole and some surrounding healthy skin is removed. This procedure requires stitching of the surgical wound and may leave a scar. For smaller moles, doctors may choose to shave the mole with a small blade rather than excise it with a scalpel or punching device. During this procedure, both the mole and a small portion of healthy skin are removed, notes Mayo Clinic.

Moles may also be removed by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. During this procedure, a doctor either swabs or sprays the mole with the liquid nitrogen. Stitches are not required after a mole has been removed by freezing it, according to WebMD.

Wires that have been heated through electricity can be used to burn off moles, notes WebMD. During this procedure, the uppers layers of the skin are removed. It may take more than one visit to the doctor to burn off a mole, advises WebMD.

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