Lumps, bumps and moles – what are they and how to get them removed.
I’m glad you wrote because you raise a ton of good questions.
Moles and growths: first things first – get them assessed.
Get an accurate diagnosis!! Many people think that growths they have are moles (nevi) and they aren’t because there are all sorts of different growths that can occur on the face and other parts of the body. For example, your bumps could also be cysts, skin cancers, seborrheic keratoses, irritated hair follicles, xanthelasma, and about 20 other problems. Please see a dermatologist or at least your primary care doctor first and get an accurate assessment (diagnosis) of what these are.
Second and important: get a biopsy!
Make sure if any doctor or midlevel provider (like a PA-C or ARNP) you use, cuts anything off your skin, that the piece of skin is sent to a pathologist to know exactly what it is. No exceptions. This is not needed if something is removed with liquid nitrogen or a hyfercator (sort of like an electric pen). A patient saw me for the first time a few weeks ago and had something taken off by a plastic surgeon. It seems the tissue was thrown away and now it’s regrown and it’s difficult to tell exactly what it was. A biopsy is needed. I think you see my point.
So to answer your questions:
- It’s impossible to know what is needed without a visit and most dermatologists don’t offer discounts in my experience.
- What needs to be done will depend on what the growths are and where exactly they are. The surgical or non surgical options depend somewhat on exactly where the mole is on the face.
- Most dermatologists do not laser moles, due to the association of moles and melanomas (a type of skin cancer). It’s fine to laser freckles (lentigoes) and some other benign spots. Again, please go on the advice of your dermatologist.
- Costs depend on what needs to be done.
Happy holidays! Dr. I