Moles & Warts Specialist

Elk Grove Dermatology

Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology Practice located in Elk Grove Village, IL

Moles and warts are common skin conditions that can be more than just embarrassing — they can be itchy and even painful. At Elk Grove Dermatology in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Robert Polisky, MD, and his experienced staff offer a variety of skin care services including quick, painless mole and wart removal. To learn more about skin growths and removal, schedule a consultation at Elk Grove Dermatology online or by phone.

Moles & Warts Q & A

Elk Grove Dermatology

What is a mole?

A mole is a growth on your skin that’s usually black or brown. You can have a single mole or several in a group located anywhere on your body. Moles are different from birthmarks because they typically develop in childhood or adolescence, and birthmarks are present on your body from birth.

There are different kinds of moles and birthmarks, including:

  • Atypical: irregular color and undefined borders
  • Congenital: dark and irregularly shaped
  • Cafe-au-lait spot: light-brown patch
  • Mongolian spot: flat, bluish, and irregularly shaped
  • Hemangioma: reddish-purple patch or raised dots
  • Salmon patch: reddish patch, usually found on your upper eyelid
  • Port-wine stain: dark red and flat

Most moles and birthmarks are harmless, but some atypical moles can cause serious health issues including melanoma, a type of skin cancer. It’s important to keep a close eye on moles and get any suspicious marks checked out by Dr. Polisky.

What is a wart?

Warts are small skin growths that are flat or slightly raised. They’re easy to distinguish from moles because they don’t have pigment or hairs. They can vary in color and appearance and occur on different parts of your body. There are several types of warts, including:

  • Common: seen on your fingers or toes
  • Flat: appear on your face, legs, or arms
  • Plantar: grow on the bottoms of your feet
  • Filiform: common on your face or neck
  • Periungual: occur under or around your toes and fingernails

Warts are very common, especially in children. They’re generally not cause for concern, but can be painful and embarrassing.

What causes moles and warts?

While moles and warts are both growths on your skin, they have very different causes. A mole develops when cells in your skin grow together in clumps. These cells, known as melanocytes, produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. HPV is contagious, and you’re more likely to develop a wart if your skin is damaged or if you have a weakened immune system.

How are moles and warts removed?

Dr. Polisky uses a variety of methods to remove moles and warts.

He typically removes moles with laser or pulsed-light therapy, by using microdermabrasion, or through a surgical procedure. If you have a mole that requires additional evaluation, Dr. Polisky sends a sample of the mole for testing to see if abnormal or cancerous cells are present.

To remove warts, Dr. Polisky might recommend several options, including:

  • Freezing the wart off using liquid nitrogen
  • Surgical removal using lasers or scalpels
  • Applying salicylic acid or cantharidin to remove the wart layer by layer

If you have a mole or wart that you’d like removed or checked out, call Elk Grove Dermatology or schedule an appointment online.