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How are moles removed?

Posted on
September 25, 2022
Choice Aesthetics

There are many reasons why you may want to have a mole removed. You may simply be unhappy with its appearance or it may be causing problems such as catching on clothes, jewellery or when brushing hair. The mole may have worrying features or it may be growing so you may be concerned.

If you have a concerning mole, it is best to have this checked by an experienced medical professional who will be able to confirm if it is benign or requires removal and how it would need to be removed. Miss Tadiparthi will recommend the best surgical and/or non-surgical options at your consultation. Normally, it is possible to remove the mole straight after your procedure under local anaesthetic.

What techniques are used to remove moles?

Moles can be removed either with a 'shave' or 'complete excision':

Shave of a mole

Shave of a mole

Complete excision of a mole

Complete excision of a mole

When can a mole be ‘shaved’?

  • If your mole or skin tag is raised, flesh coloured and has no concerning features.
  • A shave is especially relevant in areas such as the nose, lips and chin where there is not enough loose skin to allow wound closure, or complete excision would cause facial distortion or leave a noticeable long, straight-line scar.

A shave is performed by injecting local anaesthetic fluid to numb the area. The mole or skin tag is removed by slicing it with a surgical blade or snipping it with scissors so it is level with the adjacent skin. The area is just left open to heal. Stitches are not required.

When is ‘complete excision’ recommended?

  • If there are features suggestive of skin cancer.
  • If the mole is flat to the skin, excision is needed. Only raised moles can be removed with a shave technique.

In complete ‘excision’, after numbing the area with local anaesthetic, the mole is removed deeper with an elliptical incision which leaves a straight-line scar. The removed mole can be sent for analysis if needed. Stitches are used to close the wound. The scar is orientated to lie in your natural skin lines so that the resulting straight line scar blends in and is less noticeable. 

Shave versus complete excision – what are the considerations?

  • Complete excision leaves a straight-line scar which can be more noticeable. Shave removal leaves a pale patch which may be level with the skin or have a slight dip compared to the adjacent skin. 
  • Shaving a mole leaves the deeper roots of your mole and though the risk is low, it can regrow from the remaining roots. As complete excision removes the full depth of the skin and all of the mole’s roots, the risk of recurrence is much lower.
  • Complete excision is not always advisable in areas such as the nose where skin is tight and total removal would lead to distortion of the area. A shave is advisable in such areas.
  • Suspicious moles are always removed by complete excision so that they can be sent for analysis and removed in their entirety. 

What is the recovery after mole removal?

  • You will be allowed home shortly after the surgery
  • You will be able to return to work the day after surgery
  • If stitches are used, they may need to be at 7 to 10 days 
  • To minimise the risk of infection and wound healing problems, you should avoid swimming, heavy exercise or applying makeup to the area for 3 weeks until the wound is fully healed.7

To learn more about mole removal, get in touch:

Phone: 07767 728108



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