Moles are a type of skin growth that often appear as small dark spots and can range in different shapes, colors and sizes. Moles are very common, appearing on the skin of nearly every adult. Whilst the majority of moles are common and harmless, some can be an indication of a more serious issue and should be checked regularly. Some people may wish for their moles to be removed due to cosmetic reasons, but some moles may be required to be removed, such as if they were to contain cancerous cells.
Different Methods of Mole Removal:
In order to remove a mole, there are several different types of procedures that will be considered depending on the shape and size of your mole. Whilst some surgeries can leave scarring, the majority of procedures are non-invasive/minimally invasive and will heal over time.
Cryotherapy or Freezing:
The first type of treatment for mole removal is called cryotherapy. In this treatment, a very cold substance such as liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the mole causing it to scab over before falling off after a month or so. This type of treatment is one of the fastest mole removal techniques and is most often used for benign (non-cancerous) moles. Patients may experience some pain whilst the procedure is being conducted, and this is generally suggested to adults rather than children. Cryotherapy has a low chance of scar formation and the patient will generally recover quickly.
Laser Mole Removal:
The next type of mole removal procedure is laser mole removal. This therapy is most often used on non-cancerous moles. Bursts of light radiation will be targeted at the mole, breaking down the skin cells whilst leaving the healthy surrounding areas intact. Similar to Cryotherapy, this is a fast procedure, with the removal of each mole taking just a few minutes and patients will have minimal downtime for recovery, usually being able to return to their normal activity almost immediately.
Shave Excision Surgery:
Shave Excision Surgery is a simple procedure where a doctor will remove growths or moles by filing them down using an excision tool, leaving the moles flat and aligned with the skin. This procedure involves a local anesthetic that is usually painless and the patient will not likely need any recovery time. No stitches or sutures are required in this procedure as it is a minimally invasive process. Typically, the patient will be left with a pink mark where the mole was previously located, but this will fade into the skin over time.
Ellipse Excision Surgery:
The last type of mole removal and the most invasive out of all the procedures mentioned is the Ellipse Excision Surgery. This type of procedure is generally conducted on moles that are large in size, or if the doctor is concerned about abnormal skin cells. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area, and then the surgeon removes the mole from the skin using excision. The skin is then stitched together with the dissolvable stitches, and a dressing is used to cover it. This procedure takes at least 20 to 30 minutes and the recovery time is also a little extra than all the other ones. In this procedure, scarring is also a possibility.
Can I remove a mole at home?
Whilst you may read many remedies online about ingredients or techniques that can be effective for removing a mole at home yourself, we wouldn’t ever suggest attempting this. Until your mole has been checked by a professional, you may not know whether your mole is harmless, or if it requires medical attention. Attempting to remove a mole yourself may also result in unwanted scarring or risk of infection if the mole is not treated correctly. We would always suggest seeking professional advice on the type of treatment that will be most effective for you.
Whilst the majority of moles are harmless, some people may wish for them to be removed due to cosmetic reasons, and others may be required to be removed if they appear to have changed in shape, size or color and may pose a health risk. We wouldn’t suggest attempting to remove a mole at home, and would always encourage you to seek professional advice from a Consultant Dermatologist who will be able to check your moles and advise you on the most effective solution.