If you are aware that you are now or will soon be experiencing menopause, it is important for you to be aware that the growth or appearance of moles often accompanies this stage in a woman's life. That is due to the fact that hormonal changes associated with the change of life, both your own natural hormones and any supplements to those hormones that you use, can result in a variety of changes to your skin, including moles. If you have recently noticed that new moles are appearing on your skin or if the appearance of an existing mole has changed after menopause, it is a good idea to discuss the following information about mole removal with your dermatologist.
Mole Removal Is Crucial If Your Mole Is Atypical
In today's world where everyone is concerned about sun exposure and skin cancer, it is crucial to know what a normal mole looks like and what an abnormal, or atypical, growth looks like. In addition, many moles have the potential to become cancerous later on, which is known as being precancerous, and it is best to protect yourself by familiarizing yourself with what is and is not normal.
An atypical mole will often have one or more of the following features:
- Varying edges of the exterior
- Inconsistent colors, or shades, within the mole
- Recent changes to the texture, size, or color of an existing mole
It is important to point out that although changes to a mole are common during and after menopause, you should still speak with a dermatologist if you notice changes to it.
Removing A Mole That Detracts From Your Appearance
Although a small, single-colored mole that is round and presents with smooth edges is unlikely to be a problem, it can still be uncomfortable if jewelry or clothing rubs against it. Alternatively, moles can appear on your face, neck, arms or another part of the body that you think minimizes your beauty. In those instances, your dermatologist may be able to remove them in an outpatient procedure in a single session by cutting, burning, or freezing it off, as explained next.
Cutting, Burning, Or Freezing A Mole Off
Once you know when and why mole removal is provided, it is time to determine which method should be used to remove yours. Cutting actually refers to both using surgical scissors to subtract the offending tissue and using a sharp blade, like a razor, to excise it. It is important to remember that a larger, more complex mole can be benign and still have a series of blood vessels underneath it. If that happens, the removal will be similarly complex and in some cases, stitches to close the area after removal may be needed.
If you do not want to have your mole cut off, burning it off is a viable option. Unfortunately, this procedure is considered by many individuals to be the most painful method for mole removal. The area is numbed prior to the procedure, which involves cauterizing the mole. It uses intense heat and a mild electrical current to destroy the mole and its blood vessels, which forces the mole to fall off or shrink and die.
A third option to discuss with your dermatologist is freezing your mole. The application of liquid nitrogen after numbing the area cuts off the blood supply to the mole and the growth will fall off within a few days. Healing is easy, although some patients have reported that they were annoyed by the development of a blister over the treated area.
In conclusion, while the vast majority of moles are not early indicators of cancer and rarely pose the risk of discomfort or pain, it is very common to want them removed for aesthetic purposes. If you are bothered by the increased number of moles or their appearance during or after menopause, you should discuss the above information about mole removal with your dermatologist at your earliest convenience.