Q: I’m a 34-year-old female of Mexican-American origin. During a visit to my dermatologist recently, he pointed out a few of my moles as being ‘suspicious’, and burnt them off using an electric device. Why did he not send it for a biopsy?
Based on the internationally stipulated, standard guidelines, your dermatologist ought to have sent the biopsy samples of the removed moles for histopathology examination to rule out any dysplastic (pathologically atypical) or malignant (cancerous) changes in the mole cells, particularly after finding them “suspicious”.
Burning moles has been in practice since the past several decades. However, at present, detailed mole management guidelines are widely accessible even online.
At this stage, you should visit a renowned dermatology centre that has an established reputation in mole assessment as well as managing cases of skin cancers including Malignant Melanoma.
An experienced dermatologist with skill in the sub-speciality of dermato-oncology (a sub-branch of the dermatological practice mainly dealing with skin cancers), should re-examine your entire body skin, with a special focus on detecting any suspicious spots including moles that could be of any clinical concern, and then can successfully treat them accordingly.
Deeper skin biopsies need to be taken even from the areas of your “burnt moles” to ensure that there is no residual melanocytic lesion still present in the deeper layers of your skin.
The histopathological examination of these biopsies is the only way to confirm the completeness of the removal of previous moles, which will be of utmost importance to put your mind at peace.
Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is a specialist dermatologist and medical director at Dermacare Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.