Will scratching a mole affect the biopsy report?

Q. Will scratching a mole affect the biopsy report?

Answered by
Dr. Suvash Sahu
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 17, 2016 and last reviewed on: Jul 04, 2023

Hi doctor,

Six weeks ago, I noticed a mole on my back. There was no itching or redness. But, I scratched it and went to the Urgent Care Clinic. The doctor said it looked like an irritated nevus. Then, during a shower, it came off completely and left a flat area. Within a few weeks, it reappeared. Now, it is smaller of about 2 mm and dark brown in color. I went to a dermatologist and explained everything. The doctor said it was a little irregular. He said since he had not seen it before, he could not say if the irregularity was how it healed after scarring or if it was worrisome of something else. So, he did a shave and was sent for a biopsy. Now, I wonder if I have screwed up the histology by irritating it. Is the fact that it came back very fast, from nothing to a little dark mole within 3 weeks or so worrisome? I have at least a week to wait and I am freaking out a little.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your query and concern.

With your descriptions it seems that you have melanocytic nevus. Scratching or healing would not affect the outcome of the biopsy. In a biopsy for making a diagnosis of BCC (basal cell carcinoma) we need to see basaloid cells with a peripheral palisading arrangement and each cell nuclei for staining properties or abnormal mitosis, which would not get affect by altered clinical pictures. Most probably in your case it seems to be benign and not a cancerous one.

Thank you doctor,

After fell off completely, it appeared to grow back in just a few weeks. Should I be concerned?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Three weeks time is very less to conclude it as cancerous. Because if at all any normal deeper (dermal) melanocytic mole, which partially removed accidentally or scratch, it will try to heal in three weeks interval and it is a normal skin turnover time. For complete remodeling of any scar it takes around three months, after that only clinical picture will be clear. So, do not worry. In your case it seems that you might had dermal melanocytic nevus, which partially removed due to scratching. That nevus again healed in a few weeks but remodeling not completed. And so, it looks a bit of irregular.

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