When to See a Dermatologist for Mole Removal

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individual with a mole in need of removal
Published:  April 25, 2023

When it comes to mole removal, many people are unsure about whether or not they should see a dermatologist for the procedure. Moles can vary in size and appearance, so it’s important to take note of any changes that may occur over time. Generally speaking, moles that appear benign and remain unchanged don’t require medical attention; however, there are certain moles or other growths that could be cause for concern. If you have any concerns or questions about your moles, then it is best to consult with a board-certified dermatologist.

When Should You See a Dermatologist for Mole Removal?

Most moles can be safely and easily removed by your primary care physician. However, if you notice any of the following irregularities in a mole or other skin lesion, it is best to see a dermatologist for further evaluation:

  • Uneven borders
  • Multiple colors
  • Increasing size
  • Irregular shape
  • Itching or bleeding
  • Changes in the mole over time

How are Moles Removed?

Moles can generally be removed with a simple in-office procedure. The most common method is excision, which involves cutting the mole out and stitching the skin closed. Other removal methods include shaving or laser treatments to burn away the mole tissue.

Excisional Surgery

Moles can be surgically removed by a dermatologist through an excisional procedure. The entire mole and some of the surrounding skin are surgically cut away, usually with a scalpel or other sharp instrument. If the mole is deep or wide, sutures may be required to close the wound.

Shave Removal

In some cases, especially if the mole is flat and not raised from the skin surface, a dermatologist may shave off the mole. This can be done with a blade or an electric shaver. While this procedure does not remove all of the tissue under the skin, it can be used to reduce the risk of infection from a deeper excisional procedure.

Laser Treatment

Moles can also be removed with laser treatment. The laser is used to burn away the mole tissue, leaving only a small scar. This method of mole removal has been found to be less invasive than excisional surgery and shave removal techniques.

Does it Hurt to Get a Mole Removed?

The sensation of mole removal can vary depending on the method used to remove it. Generally, excisional surgery and shave removal do not cause significant pain as a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. Laser treatment causes some burning or stinging during treatment but is usually well tolerated by most patients.

How Long Does Mole Removal Take?

The length of time it takes to remove a mole depends on the size, location, and type of mole being removed. Generally, excisional surgery and shave removal take between 15 minutes and an hour while laser treatments can take up to 30 minutes or more.

How Long Does a Removed Mole Take to Heal?

The healing time for mole removal can vary depending on the size and depth of the wound. Generally, it takes around two weeks for a small wound to heal while larger wounds may take up to three or four weeks. Once healed, you should see minimal scarring from the procedure.

Mole Removal at Center for Derm

At Center for Derm, we can help you determine the best treatment option for mole removal. Our board-certified dermatologists are highly experienced in mole removal and will work with you to find the right treatment that meets your needs. We also offer laser treatments and other skin care services to help diminish the appearance of scars left behind from mole removal. To schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today.