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What is the procedure for removing a mole?

Stephen Handisides
Health Education Specialist

A skin mole is the most common type of benign skin growth and usually nothing to worry about. But what if it is in a highly visible place which causes embarrassment and an uncomfortable level of self-consciousness?

If you have a mole in a place which makes you shy or awkward then mole removal is a common procedure. However, did you know that there is an ultra-modern form of mole removal? One which doesn’t involve surgery or chemical methods of bleaching?

Laser mole removal offers an alternative to surgery and it can improve some otherwise disfiguring moles. Each mole is assessed by our doctors to see if laser mole removal is appropriate and they can advise as to whether this type of method would give a beneficial result.

How does a laser remove skin moles?

During your treatment the laser beam penetrates the top layer of skin to deliver its energy which targets and disperses the pigment within the mole. Different types of laser, with different wave lengths, can be used.

The type of laser depends on the degree of pigment (colour) within the mole. You may need more than one session to achieve the desired result.

What happens after the treatment?

After your laser treatments you should expect the mole to appear darker or even red.  When the mole turns into a scab your body has taken over the healing and it should come off in about two weeks. 

The skin underneath will be very sensitive and you should take precautions to protect it. Apply sunscreen to the area daily for a few weeks. But if you could avoid sun to the area all together this would be best.

Dr. Arthur W. Perry, MD
Cosmetic Surgeon
If a mole is suspicious, your doc will remove it. She'll usually take out the whole thing, not just a piece. And a pathologist will look at it under the microscope. If it is a nothing, you're done. If it is questionable or a cancer, then you'll need a second procedure to remove more skin.
Dr. Salvatore J. Pacella, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Moles, particularly noncancerous ones, are typically easy to remove with a minor surgical procedure, which can be done in an outpatient setting. You may choose to have your mole surgically removed, burned away or shaved off. Infection is a minor post-procedure risk, but side effects are generally minor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.