Mole Removal

Mole Removal at a Glance

  • Best Results1-2 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery1-7 days
  • Procedure Time1-30 min
  • Skin SpecialistMedical dermatologist
  • Duration of Results?
  • AnaestheticLocal
  • Back to Work1-7 days
  • Cost$-$$

Mole Removal

Moles are removed on either cosmetic grounds or cases of suspected cancerous change. A shave excision using a blade gives the best results. In some cases, an excision with sutures is recommended. Be guided by your dermatologist as to how to approach mole removal.

FactsFacts on Mole Removal

  • Moles subtypes include intradermal, junction, & compound moles
  • Some can be safely removed with simple shave excisions, whilst other require excision with sutures
  • Laser can be useful in some but not all cases
  • An age related decline in moles is seen in the fourth decade of life
  • Radiofrequency loop ‘laser’ removal does not give any advantage over surgical blade shaving
  • Over-correction of mole removal results in an atrophic scar
  • Moles increase with age till 30 years old

What are ways to remove unsightly moles?

There are four methods of mole removal, they each have pros and cons.

  • Laser mole removal: sounds high-tech, but the success rate is low.
  • Shave excision with steel: the best way to remove moles.
  • Shave excision with radiofrequency: what cosmetic GPs will sell you.
  • Excision with sutures: is the best for suspicious moles.

What is radiofrequency loop or Tempsure RF mole removal?

This is a surgical no-stitch method to remove moles using electric current. A loop wire is used to cut through the mole itself. One of the major advantages is to reduce post treatment bleeding.

IMO this is a massive overkill & over service. A better result can be achieved with a free-hand blade & some aluminium chloride hexahydrate to reduce bleeding. The reason is that the loop wire does not provide a flush surface. This often results in overcorrection of the mole itself, leading to an atrophic scar. 

*I do use Tempure / Pelleve RF & many other RF devices, but not to treat moles. Sometimes simple treatments are best.

Can lasers remove moles?

Yes. I have been guilty of making a few YouTube videos on this process. Lasers including ablative CO2 & erbium can flatten raised moles. I do perform this procedure as an incidental way of removing intradermal nevi on select patients (low risk of melanoma).

Pigment lasers including Q switch & pico lasers can be used to treat flat moles. Lasers can be effective, either partially or completely. The risks of lasers are discussed down below.

Disclaimer: I do not remove moles as a primary treatment. The risk of recurrence is too high for my practice. Discuss mole removal with your treating dermatologist.

What is the difference between removing a mole on cosmetic grounds vs suspicious mole removals?

If your dermatologist is suspicious of malignant or cancerous changes in a mole, they will undertake a procedure to remove the entire mole. An excision is the most common procedure, in some cases a deep shave is required.

For cosmetic removal of moles cosmetic outcomes are carefully considered. In many cases only a portion of the mole (raised bit) is removed. A deeper correction will result in a divot.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Mole Removal

I get it, if there is an unsightly mole, sure, on cosmetic grounds it may warrant removal. The whole idea of removing moles is to give you a better cosmetic outcome than having the mole there in the first place, unless the mole is suspicious for a melanoma. In this case you should have it removed and tested.

Mole-phobia is a form of BDD or body dysmorphic disorder, the lines are somewhat blurred. If you have a big-ass mole in a cosmetically significant area, say the nose, upper lip, chin, or the middle of your forehead, then it is fair game to consider removal. If you have scattered moles that look natural (objectively, not subjectively) & you think it is the end of the world, this may cross into the BDD spectrum. No amount of convincing will make you change your mind. My specialist skills are very limited in this subset of patients. Ideally you should see a dermatologist who has an interest in the management of body dysmorphia. They may work with a psychiatrist or psychologist.

I do however remove moles & birthmarks in select patients. Lesions I treat include challenging congenital melanocytic naevi, CALM or cafe au lait macules, Ota, Ito, & Hori Naevi.

Disclaimer: I do not perform routine mole removal. Why? Because the recurrence rate is too high for my mode of practice. I do however remove clinically significant moles on the nose, upper lip & other areas where moles are visible at a distance of 2.5 meter or more.

 

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