Joel Schlessinger M.D.

Published works by Joel Schlessinger M.D.

Joel Schlessinger MD explains how to remove troublesome moles.

Joel Schlessinger MD explains how to remove troublesome moles As a board-certified dermatologist, Joel Schlessinger MD encounters moles on a daily basis. Some are healthy while others can be causes for concern. In an article featured on, Joel Schlessinger MD writes about the common procedure of mole removal.

Moles are dark spots or irregularities in the skin. Many people are born with moles while some appear over time. When a mole looks abnormal, it needs to be removed to ensure the patient does not have a dangerous skin disease like melanoma.

“Risks of mole removal methods vary from infection to anesthetic allergy and nerve damage,” writes Joel Schlessinger MD. “It is always prudent to choose a dermatologist or surgeon with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. This will decrease your risk associated with this procedure.”

Mole removal procedure:

  1. The area will be cleansed with alcohol, Betadine or another suitable material. Then, it will be numbed with an anesthetic to avoid pain and discomfort. This can take approximately 15 minutes to set in.
  2. To remove the mole with a simple cutting, the surgeon will take a scalpel and gently shave the mole off flush to the skin. Then the surgeon will cauterize or burn the area to stop any bleeding. A topical antibiotic is applied to prevent infection. The wound will then be covered with a bandage.
  3. To remove by excision, the surgeon will map out the mole. A scalpel is used to cut out the mole and its surrounding area. The border size depends on the concern of the surgeon. Depending on the depth of the mole, stitches are placed deep into the incision or on the upper layer of the skin. The wound will be covered with a bandage.
  4. The patient will receive ample information on how to care for the wound once he or she gets home. After the procedure, a layer of antibiotic salve is applied and a bandage covers the wound. The wound should be cleansed once or twice daily with water or diluted hydrogen peroxide. After cleansing, reapply the antibiotic salve and bandage. These steps are repeated until the wound has healed.

“Doctors remove many moles every day,” said Joel Schlessinger MD, “but there is always one recurring theme that dermatologists tell people: be aware of your body and any moles that have changed over time.”

Joel Schlessinger MD says you should stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen when you are outside. When you see your dermatologist, ask for a full body mole screening because it is important to look over your entire body rather than ignore areas that you may not be able to inspect regularly.

For more information about mole removal and prevention, read Joel Schlessinger MD’s entire article on mole removal here.

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