In a mole removal procedure, we shave or cut a mole to remove it from your skin. It’s generally a quick, outpatient procedure that allows us to test the mole for skin cancer. Some people also have moles removed for cosmetic reasons.
Moles often appear in your childhood or teens and range in color from your natural skin tone to pink, brown or black. People with darker hair or skin tend to have darker moles than people with fairer hair or skin. Moles can be flat or raised from the surface of your skin.
It’s normal to have about 10–40 moles by the time you’re an adult. Some moles grow slowly and may lighten or disappear over time. Most moles are harmless, but you should make an appointment if you have any concerns about the appearance of a mole, or if it changes color or shape, becomes itchy or bleeds.
Sometimes, moles are skin cancer or precancerous. If your mole is itchy, bleeds, isn’t round or oval, or you notice changes in its appearance, schedule an appointment.
Mole removal treats atypical moles anywhere on your face, neck, arms legs or torso. Some moles are recommended for removal so we can run a test (biopsy) to see if the growth is cancerous (malignant) or precancerous. And if we are able to remove the mole and achieves good margins (the area around the mole), mole removal may serve as a curative treatment for skin cancer that hasn’t spread.
We may also remove a mole if you’re unhappy with its location or appearance.