If a melanocytic nevus is suspected of being a melanoma, it needs to be sampled or removed and sent for microscopic evaluation by a pathologist by a method called skin biopsy. One can do a complete excisional skin biopsy or a punch skin biopsy, depending on the size and location of the original nevus. Other reasons for removal may be cosmetic, or because a raised mole interferes with daily life (e.g. shaving). Removal can be by excisional biopsy or by shaving. A shaved site leaves a red mark on the site which returns to the patient’s usual skin color in about two weeks. However, there might still be a risk of spread of the melanoma, so the methods of Melanoma diagnosis, including excisional biopsy, are still recommended even in these instances. Additionally, moles can be removed by laser, surgery or electrocautery.
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