Naevi or moles are common, benign growths which contain pigment cells or melanocytes. They can cause inconvenience by catching on clothing, by becoming inflamed due to friction or can cause distress due to their appearance. In these cases, cosmetic removal can be considered.
If, however, your mole is irregular in appearance, bleeds, itches or is changing, then it may need to be removed urgently to rule out melanoma and we provide urgent appointments for these cases.
Removal of a mole requires a minor surgical procedure, which would not be painful due to administration of a local anaesthetic injection. Usually the entire mole would be removed, however a surface shave excision can be considered for benign moles that are raised up from the skin. Removal would be carried out in our procedure room, with the help of our dermatology nurse and takes 20-40 minutes. Sutures or stiches are usually required and would be removed after 1-2 weeks, depending on the site of the surgery. Mole removal usually results in a scar, however we try to ensure that the scar is minimised, to the best of our ability.
We would not usually recommend removing a mole with laser treatment, cryotherapy (freezing) or radiofrequency ablation, as these destroy the mole and there is no pathology sample to examine. It is reassuring and important to know from a pathology sample that your mole is benign. The above procedures may also leave very small areas of mole behind, which could change in the future.
To discuss and arrange mole removal with one of our dermatologists, please book in for a consultation. Please inform our staff if you are concerned about a mole and we will ensure that you are seen urgently.