Moles, also known as nevi in medical terms, are clusters of pigmented cells that appear as small, dark spots on the skin. They can vary greatly in size and color. They are commonly found on the face, arms, legs, and torso of the body.
Most moles are actually harmless – these are usually small (and stay small) and uniform in color. Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, on the other hand, are usually larger in size (and changing in character) and may feature other suspicious characteristics such as irregular borders, asymmetry and color heterogeneity. Those with atypical moles have a higher likelihood of developing melanoma. Therefore, it is important that they are monitored closely to detect any signs of change in shape, size, or color of the mole.
Any mole that is of uncertain nature or bears suspicious features for cancer would warrant a tissue sample and this is usually obtained by a doctor. Whilst a tissue confirmation of cancer necessitates appropriate cancer treatment which includes surgical removal of the mole, the majority of moles that are determined as harmless do not require treatment. However, many choose to have their benign moles removed for various reasons such as cosmetic reasons.
Laser mole removal is a popular choice of treatment for those who are seeking a safe and effective way to rid off moles. However, for moles that are huge or very protruberant, a surgical excision may be more appropriate. Laser treatment is otherwise largely comfortable with minimal pain as local anaesthesia is usually administered pre-treatment. Unwanted mole tissue is readily vaporized as the laser precisely delivers a focussed energy into the mole. It usually takes one to three treatments for complete mole removal.