What is a mole?
Most moles are harmless and small, coloured spots on the skin, technically a cluster of pigmented cells. We all have them and most of the time there is nothing to worry about.
Moles can appear anywhere on the face and body. Babies are born with them and its normal for children and teenagers to have new moles appear. They can be round or oval-shaped, with a smooth edge, flat or raised and may feel smooth or rough. Moles can even grow hairs!
Cosmetic mole removal
As dermatologists, we’ve seen all types of moles and we understand that as harmless as a mole may be, many people have mole removal for cosmetic reasons. They can affect a person’s confidence and cause embarrassment if a mole is on your face, neck, arms and hands or indeed any other area of your body.
Most harmless moles are not treated on the NHS, but the cosmetic removal of moles is a simple and safe procedure which can be carried out in one appointment with a private dermatologist.
What to do if a mole changes
As we’ve said usually moles are nothing to worry about unless they change size, shape, or colour. As we age the appearance of our moles can change and it’s important to be aware of these changes and seek medical advice if you are anxious about a mole.
If you have any concerns regarding a mole or are worried about skin cancer, you can book a mole check and skin cancer screening without the need for a GP referral.
How are moles removed?
The two main procedures for mole removal are ‘excision with closure’ and ‘shave excision’. An excision with closure involves cutting out the mole, together with a small border of surrounding skin and closure with stitches. This works well for relatively flat moles and for potential skin cancers, while with a shave excision, a raised mole is removed off to flatten it without the need for stitches.
Mole removals are carried out under a local anaesthetic injection which numbs the surrounding area. The mole is removed safely by a consultant Dermatologist with a specialised scalpel. The wound may or may not require stitches depending on the procedure performed and most people are fine to return to work straight away.
If stitches are used, you can choose to have these removed either at one of our skin clinics or at your local surgery.
Will removing a mole leave a scar?
An expert dermatologist will discuss the appropriate removal procedure with you that has the highest chance of a good cosmetic result. Depending on the type of mole removal you have, for example a shave excision works best for a mole that is slightly raised and this will leave a flat white mark and a slight dent in the skin. If a full excision removal is required for flat moles, this leaves a scar line, although the aim is always to minimise the size of the scar left behind.
Do moles come back after removal?
Mole removal is usually permanent, and if a mole has been removed completely with surgical excision, then it will not grow back. If there is a risk of skin cancer, a full excision to remove all cells is important, but if you are getting a mole removed for cosmetic reasons a shave excision is simpler and has less scarring, although there is a small chance that the mole could grow back.
How to book an appointment for mole removal
We will get you booked in for your mole removal at a time and date of your choice. There’s no consultation needed, but if you would like a consultation prior to your removal to discuss the details of the procedure this can be arranged with no extra cost.