Top 3 Benign Mole Removal Options

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The average person has around 10 moles on their body, while some have far more.  They may be raised or flat, black or flesh-colored, benign or malignant.  They can occur anywhere on the body, and depending on their characteristics and appearance, they may or may not be a source of concern.   Many people find the aesthetic of their mole or moles to be displeasing, particularly when located on the face, and they may wish to have them removed.  However, all moles should be removed in a way that allows for pathology to ensure that no cancerous cells are present.

Depending on the type of mole and the desired result, there are three standard removal options which accomplish this goal, each with a different level of invasiveness to the skin.

Shave Removal of Moles

Shave removal of a mole is a good option to both conduct pathology and minimize the appearance of raised moles.  It is completed with the use of a small scalpel or curved razor blade to shave the mole flat.  The mark left behind would be the same size as the mole but flush with the skin and likely more visually appealing for the patient.

Single Excision of Moles

In this form of treatment, a scalpel is used to remove the mole completely in a single procedure.  In order to complete removal, the surgeon will need to make an incision that is larger than the mole itself.  This means that the scar will be longer than the mole itself.  However, a good dermatologic surgeon should be able to minimize the appearance of the scar, and many patients may find this preferable to a mole.

Serial Excision of Moles

For most benign moles, serial excision will provide the most desirable final result.  However, it will also require the greatest commitment of time.  Over 2 to 3 rounds of surgery, spaced 1 to 2 months apart, the mole is removed gradually.  This slow process of removal over the course of multiple visits allows the surgeon to not only excise the mole completely, but to also leave behind the smallest amount of scarring possible. 

All three of the above options are viable for removal of benign moles.  Determining which is best for you will depend on factors such as the location and characteristics of the mole, the desired result, and how quickly you would like to accomplish removal. 

If you have a mole that you would like removed, schedule an appointment with Dermasurgery Center in our Baton Rouge or Lafayette office.  After first determining that it poses no threat of cancer, your board-certified dermatologist can review all of your available treatment options, answering your questions and helping you determine which is best suited for you.

Chad Prather, M.D.