Biopsy of Moles and Other Growths

Biopsy of Moles and Other Growths

Moles and other skin growths are common occurrences with all age groups. However, if there is a change in the shape, size or color of a mole or skin growth, it may be cause for concern, and should be examined.

Once examined, a medically trained professional may choose to biopsy the mole or growth to test it for abnormalities. In the end, the ultimate goal is to be sure there is no cancer in the tested mole.

Signs To Look For

Typically, moles are smooth with defined edges. They can range in color from pink to black and most adults have 10 to 40 moles on their skin. However, if a mole changes color, shape or size, it may be an indicator of a more serious condition.

If there are any atypical or new growths found on the skin, they should be brought to the attention of a medical professional.

Types of Mole Biopsies

A biopsy is one of the best ways to test for serious skin conditions, like skin cancer.

Biopsies usually take between 10 to 15 minutes and are generally painless.

The first step in the procedure is numbing the area that will be biopsied with a local anesthetic.

Shave biopsies involve an incision which is done by a scalpel on the surface of the skin. The depth of an incision depends on the type of growth and where it is on the body. The skin will bleed but the procedure is painless. Scarring of the surrounding area is common and a medically trained professional will dress the wound before finishing the procedure.

Punch and Excisional biopsies involve taking samples of the skin from a deeper layer. These forms of biopsies may require stitches after the sample is taken and need to be dressed afterwards.

Moles and skin growths that are biopsied are tested for various skin conditions that may be causing abnormalities in the growth.

To schedule a mole check, consultation or biopsy, call the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110.