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Everyone knows that moles are skin imperfections that can either be left alone as it is or be removed entirely. There are many individuals who have their moles removed purely for aesthetic purposes, often in pursuit of a flawless looking skin. However, there are also those who would want their moles removed simply because of an overriding concern for its possible cancerous nature. Either way, the most frequent question these individuals ask is ‘how painful is mole removal?’

Before you can begin to appreciate the presence or absence of pain in mole removal, it is best to understand moles first.

Moles are skin imperfections that are produced when melanocyte skin cells clump together leading to the dark pigmentation seen on the skin. Experts believe that the malformation can be attributed to a host of factors owing to the fact that some moles appear during puberty and well into young and middle adulthood. The most common culprits cited for this phenomenon are prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, stress, and hormonal changes. There are also moles that you are born with. These are often a result of a problem during embryonic development where, instead of being evenly scattered throughout the body, some melanocytes clumped together at certain parts of the body.

One of the more compelling reasons why moles are removed is their tendency to become malignant, known as melanoma. Generally, however, doctors would recommend leaving moles as they are because they do not necessarily pose any significant threat. Unless, of course, the mole seem to have an asymmetrical shape or has very irregular border, has exhibited a change in color, or is evidently evolving, then removal will be mandatory. These are often taken as a sign of beginning malignancy especially when these mole characteristics are present together with pain, itching, and has a diameter of more than a quarter of an inch.

Now there are several ways in which moles can be removed. Doctors would always recommend surgical procedures while dermatologists would recommend laser treatments. Some would even recommend the use of natural remedies. Among these three general classes of mole removal, the most effective will be either surgery or laser treatments while the safest will be going natural. Nonetheless, it is best to examine each one a little closer.

Surgical Methods

Doctors recommend surgical removal of the mole in order to obtain a tissue sample for further testing. Surgical methods are often indicated in moles that are unusually large and protruding or elevated. This is needed in order to determine whether the mole is cancerous or not. If it is, then further tests can be initiated to determine if the cancer has inadvertently spread to other parts of the body. There are three fundamental types of surgical mole removal – excision surgery, shaving, and punch biopsy. As in any other type of surgical procedure, there will always be pain in addition to inflammation and eventual scarring of tissue. Before the procedure however, the doctor will give you an anesthetic so you will not feel the surgical blade cutting through your skin and removing the mole. After the procedure, however, and as the effects of the anesthesia wear off, you will feel mild to moderate stinging pain but nothing that an over-the-counter analgesic will not manage.

Laser Treatment

Laser mole removal uses high intensity light beams to break down the molecules of the mole and allow these to be reabsorbed naturally by the body. However, it is only ideal for small and generally flat moles. Since the skin will be subjected to intense light which translates to heat, there will be a stinging type of pain. Some dermatologists will often spray a local anesthetic in order to numb the area prior to laser treatment.

Natural Methods

Moles removed by natural methods perhaps are the safest when it comes to the pain experience. However, their effectiveness is highly variable. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda with castor oil, honey with ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, garlic, banana peel, and tea tree oil have all been used as natural remedies for the removal of moles. Now, aside from a slightly burning or tingling sensation, these treatments provide the most pain-free experience anyone can find.

Is mole removal painful? That depends on your pain threshold. Being objective however will suggest that surgical methods will give the most pain followed by laser treatments. Your safest bet will be the natural methods. Nonetheless, if you really want to remove moles, will pain really matter more than the effectiveness?

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