Mole Removal

What is a mole removal?

Mole removal is a type of procedure that removes bothersome, unattractive, and/or possibly cancerous moles. As a quick surgery, it can be done for cosmetic or medical reasons. Because moles are common skin growths that can be either noncancerous or cancerous, moles can be removed in several ways through this procedure. 

Did you know…

Most people can have between 10 to 40 moles throughout childhood and adolescence. This is due to the hormonal changes that happen in adolescence. However, moles can also develop from drug responses, certain antibiotics, and antidepressants that suppress the immune system. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes moles? 

Moles are caused by clusters of skin cells known as melanocytes. While most skin cells are distributed throughout the skin, melanocytes produce melanin, a natural pigment that gives your skin its color. Moles can darken after sun exposure and during hormonal changes such as adolescence and pregnancy. 

What types of moles are there?

Currently, there are four types of moles that dermatologists have to identify to protect your skin. These types include: 

  • Congenital Moles: These moles develop when you are born and can vary in size. Although these are considered common occurrences, larger moles should be checked on a yearly basis due to a slightly higher chance of them developing into melanoma. 
  • Acquired Moles: Acquired moles are the second most common type of moles. They develop after a person is born due to various influences, such as sunlight, hormonal changes, medication, and age. 
  • Dysplastic Moles: Dysplastic moles are abnormally large-sized moles. These moles are larger than the average pencil eraser, asymmetric in shape, feel irregular on the surface, discolored, and/or grow larger over time.  It is common for these moles to develop into melanoma.
  • Spitz Moles: Spitz moles are raised, pink dome-shaped moles that bleed and leak puss. These moles are often the first sign of skin cancer and a skin biopsy is required to ensure it’s not melanoma.
What abnormal features should I look out for? 

While the vast majority of moles are not cancerous, it’s essential to monitor for any changes in your skin on a regular basis. These changes include irregularity in shape, unusual borders, changes in color, larger diameter, and symptoms such as itching and/or bleeding. 

How is a mole removal performed?

At Borealis Dermatology, two methods are used to remove a mole: 

  • Shave Removal: This is a minimally invasive method, where the target area is numbed intralesionally and the mole is carefully removed with a single or double-bladed razor. The most minimal amount of skin is removed, but there is a chance the procedure will create a small scar. There is a higher possibility that the mole will redevelop if an inadequate amount is removed.
  • Surgical Excision: This is a common mole removal procedure that is more complex than a shave removal. The area of concern is excised completely with scalpels to remove the mole. The excision forms an open wound, which is closed with a few stitches. You would need to come back in 7-14 days for the suture removal.

The samples taken from both procedures are sent out to NYU Langone Pathology Department for a microscopic examination to ensure it is not melanoma. Regardless of the result, our providers reach out to you directly to share the report.