Biopsied mole shows darkness in the center, is this likely to indicate that it is malignant? (Photos)

I went in to see a dermatologist today as an old mole of mine had grown, expanding pigment out and also increased raised area. My doctor seemed to be leaning toward thinking it was a melanoma -- especially since I'm high risk, and he then started discussing some brief outlines of what treatment would entail depending on the stage. After my biopsy I noticed that there is still darkness in the center of it. Does this darkness support the likelihood that it's malignant and has been growing down? I'm worried.

Doctor Answers 3

Darkness in the Biopsy Site of a Mole: What Could it Mean?

If a pigmented lesion is removed by what is referred to as tangential excision or shave removal, there can be some nests of pigment cells remaining, leaving some color or pigment in the wound or scar. That is because the lesion was shaved off and not all of the cells were completely removed. This is a perfectly good option for pigmented lesions that may be benign. Usually, if there is a high index of suspicion that the lesion is malignant, it will be excised, rather than tangentially removed. Pigment in the biopsy site does not necessarily mean something is malignant. You did the right thing. You noticed a pigmented lesion had changed and you went in to see your dermatologist. Good job. He did the right thing and removed it. Just follow up with your doctor and see what the biopsy results showed. Don't worry and Good luck.


Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
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Biopsy of a Mole

When a mole is removed it is sent to a dermatopathologist for analysis.  That is the only way to determine if a mole is malignant.  Having pigment remain after a shave removal is quite common and not a sign of cancer.  Please find a board certified dermatologist for the best results.

Does a mark in a biopsy site mean something is malignant

A dark spot anywhere within or around a biopsy site does NOT mean something is definitely malignant or a melanoma. You did the right thing by going in to have a changing site reviewed, your derm did the right thing by taking a biopsy, and now let the lab do the right thing by looking at your specimen and diagnosing it properly. This is the only way to truly confirm what it is.

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