The best mole removal method depends on each mole’s individual characteristics (size, shape and colour). We are either born with moles or they appear over time as we expose our skin to the sun. Laser treatment or excision is the preferred method for flat moles, skin tags or protruding moles that have remained relatively stable since birth (meaning no rapid growth or change in shape). Moles with noticeable colour or contour change should be removed for biopsy to ascertain skin cancer risk.
Skin tags: small skin growths with a small narrow stalk, usually skin-coloured (and occasionally darker in colour). Most often painless.
Raised moles: typically found in a variety of colours, running deeper than flat moles.
Flat moles: any dark spot or irregularity on the skin.
Typically used for pigmented nevi (flat, brown or black-coloured moles). Repeat treatments (up to three visits) may be necessary before the mole is completely removed. Unfortunately, laser light doesn’t penetrate deep enough to use this same pain-free method on raised moles.
Some moles may need to be excised (cut with sutures) for complete and permanent removal. This is usually a single treatment and typically used for protruding moles. Stitches will remain for approximately one week.
Heat is applied to burn the mole, but multiple treatments (up to three visits) may be required as the heat only reaches the skin’s superficial layers (to prevent scarring). This method is primarily used to treat and remove skin tags or seborrheic keratosis (warts). Post treatment, a scab will form and can take one week before it falls off, appearing red and possibly inflamed. It may take several weeks before normal skin colour returns. The treated area should be kept clean and protected from the sun with a good sun block.
Risks and Complications
- Cancer in Mole
Back to work: One week
More strenuous activity: One week
Scars will fade: Over time scars will fade.
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.