If your mole or skin tag is raised and has no concerning features (benign looking), then a ‘shave’ technique can be considered. However, if there are any suspicious features, your mole would need to be completely ‘excised’ (i.e. removed) and sent for microscopic analysis. Any moles that are flat to the skin would need to be excised if you wanted removal as only raised moles can be removed with a shave technique.
Shave technique is usually a quicker procedure and can be performed anywhere as long as the mole raised above the adjacent skin. However, it is particularly suitable in areas such as, the nose, lips, chin and forehead where there is not enough laxity in the skin to allow wound closure, or complete excision may cause distortion of your facial features or leave a more noticeable long, straight-line scar.
Shave removal leaves a flat or slightly indented scar which is the same size as the base of your removed mole. During the initial 1-2 weeks, the shaved area appears grey / brown, then it becomes red as scar forms and the area starts to heal. Complete excision leaves a straight-line scar which is usually slightly longer than the original diameter of your mole.
In the long term, in both shave and excision techniques, the scar may be either lighter in colour if you are of Caucasian skin type or the scar may be dark if you are Black or Asian skin type.
One of the main considerations when having a shave procedure is that the deeper roots of your mole may still remain and therefore, there is a small risk of recurrence in the long-term. In contrast, an ‘excision’ although it may leave a more noticeable, longer, straight-line scar, removes your mole in its entirety and the long-term risk of recurrence is very low.