While usually moles are harmless and don’t require treatment, sometimes a mole may need to be removed if it poses a risk for skin cancer or for aesthetic reasons. In this post, we look at a few options for skin moles treatment, once your dermatologist has identified a dangerous mole or you have identified a mole you’d like to remove.
Mole removal is typically done on an outpatient basis and is relatively painless. Moles can be removed by:
Cutting / Excision
With this type of skin moles treatment, a local anesthetic is applied to the mole, which is cut out along with a small area of the surrounding skin with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Some moles may have cells that have grown underneath the top layer of skin. Cutting these out may require a few stitches to close the skin, which can leave a small scar that will fade over time.
Some skin moles can be shaved down with a scalpel. The area gets numbed with a local anesthetic beforehand, and usually, only a small pink mark is left after the removal.
Moles that are non-cancerous and haven’t grown to the deeper layers of skin can be frozen off using liquid nitrogen. This type of skin moles treatment may leave a small blister on the skin but is a relatively simple outpatient procedure.
Smaller, non-cancerous moles that don’t protrude above the surface of the skin may also be removed with a laser treatment. This skin moles treatment uses intense bursts of light radiation to break down the mole cells in the skin. This method usually takes two or three treatments to eradicate the mole. While excision and cutting are the more common and recommended methods of removing moles, laser removal can be used for harder to reach areas, such as on the face or ears, and can be helpful for eliminating multiple moles at the same time.
Can I remove my mole at home?
There are many sites offering advice on at-home mole removal treatment options. However, it is always recommended first to visit a doctor to determine if a mole is cancerous and to advise the best course of treatment. A doctor can ensure that a mole is removed correctly, with little complications and the minimum possible chance of scarring.
Can a mole come back after treatment?
In some cases, a mole can return after treatment. There is a small chance that some mole cells were missed and the mole grows back. While this is usually not the case, no skin moles treatment is 100% effective. That’s why, especially for irregular and cancerous moles, it is important to schedule follow-up appointments with your doctor every 6 to 12 months.
After a mole-removal treatment, you can still go out and be exposed to the sun. However, you are advised to wear proper sun protection (i.e., hats, protective clothing, sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher) to prevent moles from forming in the future and removed moles from returning. Monthly skin checks are also recommended for the identification of any irregular moles or changes in existing moles.