Ever thought of having mole removal?

I’ve had mole removal twice for benign moles. The first mole was on my abdomen and measured four and a half millimeters in diameter.

I had surgical mole removal because I had read it was a good idea to have moles at least this size removed, since a large mole is more likely to become melanoma (skin cancer) than is a small mole.

I had a second mole removal recently because I thought the mole was melanoma.

I thought it was melanoma because the mole’s top layer flaked off over a period of what I had extrapolated to be two to three weeks.

I noticed the flaking-off only when a little more than half the mole’s top portion had already disappeared.

Over the next five days, the mole’s remaining top portion disappeared. Thinking melanoma, I got an appointment for mole removal. In both cases, the doctor (dermatologist) anesthetized the area.

With the first mole removal, the doctor made an incision around the mole in the shape of an elongated diamond, then scooped out this surrounding skin, along with the mole, and including some skin tissue beneath it; this is a safety margin, just in case there’s skin cancer.

Though this mole looked perfectly normal, a doctor should always cut out a margin of skin surrounding the mole, depth-wise and laterally.

A doctor should also send the tissue to pathology for biopsy, even if the mole appears normal (my biopsy came back normal).

This happened too long ago for me to remember if the stitches were dissolvable or if I had to return to have them removed.

I do remember wearing a bandage for a week. Over the years the scar has faded significantly.

The mole on my face was removed with a “punch.”

The doctor showed me the tool for this; its diameter was bigger than the mole, which meant that skin surrounding it laterally would be removed, and skin beneath it (depth) would also be punched out. These punch tools come in varying diameters.

Source: BruceBlaus

The first mole removal, if my memory serves me correctly, took 30-40 minutes, though I could be wrong. The second mole removal must have lasted about 7-8 minutes. It’s painless.

In fact, a blackhead extraction on one’s nose is far more painful than a mole removal.

Administration of the anesthetic feels like a dull pin pressing along the skin.

The biggest problem I’ve had with this second mole removal is the allergic reaction to the Band-Aid — not of the incised area itself, but the nearby skin that the Band-Aid’s flaps have made contact with.

The nurse supplied the initial Band-Aid and said they were latex-free, but they didn’t say hypoallergenic on them. I took the chance and used these

Band-Aids (she gave me six) for the first five days following the mole removal, knowing I was allergic to Band-Aids, but figuring “latex free” wouldn’t cause any problems.

Well, they did. The nurse’s instructions were to change the Band-Aid every morning after gently cleansing the incision with water and then applying Vaseline (which she gave me) to the incision.

The incision was closed with dissolvable stitches, and the surrounding skin has a “pulling” lumpy appearance. The nurse said this was normal.

It’s six days out as I write this content, and the incision is healing, the stitches are dissolving, and the surrounding skin is slightly discolored, slightly swollen.

The skin where the Band-Aids were is red, cobbled and irritated; yesterday I purchased hypoallergenic Band-Aids.

I have concealed this irritated area with concealer so that my parents don’t suspect anything wrong. They do not know I had a mole removed.

They had asked why I had a Band-Aid there for several days, and I told them I had accidentally gouged the area with my thumb nail when proceeding to brush back my hair with my fingers.

There will be a scar there for some time, and I’m sure it will fade over time. But quite honestly, I don’t care. The scar will be very small and easily concealed with makeup anyways.

I’m not the type of woman who’s going to be self-conscious of a tiny mark on my face.

As long as I no longer have to worry about a mole on my face becoming melanoma, who cares about some tiny little scar?

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/ivan_kislitsin