Laser surgery, radiofrequency surgery and intense pulsed light are successful treatments for raised or flat moles, pigmented spots and small blood vessels with minimal scarring.
Mole and skin tag removal consultation
It's essential to have your mole or skin lesion checked before removal. This should always be done by a doctor with experience and qualifications in skin cancer medicine or dermatology. Many GPs are able to check moles of concern, but we normally recommend that you consult an accredited skin cancer doctor or a dermatologist.
At Spot Check Clinic, an accredited skin cancer doctor examines all moles and skin lesions prior to removal. You don't need a referral, and appointments to examine selected skin lesions of concern are usually available within a few working days.
Is that ‟mole” actually a skin cancer?
When we are removing moles from the face, we will always consider the cosmetic outcome and discuss the best way of achieving a result with minimal scarring.
But if there is any question about the mole potentially being malignant, or if the doctor suspects skin cancer, a biopsy will be taken from the mole as part of your mole removal procedure to obtain the most accurate possible diagnosis.
The mole will be tested for the presence of cancerous cells. If the biopsy result confirms skin cancer, we offer medical and surgical treatment options or provide a referral to a plastic surgeon, if required. Your skin cancer doctor at our clinic will help ensure that you receive the best quality treatment for your diagnosis and circumstances.
If you have a laser, radiofrequency (RF) or BBL/intense pulsed light procedure to remove a mole or skin lesion, there is usually no out-of-pocket expense for any associated mole check consultation or mole biopsy procedures, as long as these procedures are covered by Medicare in your case. If you have a molemap performed, there is an out-of-pocket charge.
Send us a photo of your mole
Save time by sending us a photo of the mole or lesion you would like to have removed via our web form.
We'll be in touch within the next 2 working days to let you know if your mole is suitable for cosmetic removal with radiofrequency surgery or BBL intense pulsed light treatment.
Mole removal procedures
Cosmetic procedures aim to remove or destroy the mole or lesion while minimising damage to surrounding normal skin. Low-scarring methods for removing moles allow the surgeon/operator to accurately target the lesion of concern and remove the mole successfully with the best possible cosmetic impact.
The main methods we use to remove moles and other skin lesions are:
- Q-switched laser surgery: for removing flat or raised moles. This method is especially useful for people with darker skin.
- Radiofrequency surgery: for removing raised skin lesions such as dermal moles, seborrhoeic keratoses and skin tags
- BBL intense pulsed light therapy: for removing flat pigmented (red or brown) skin lesions such as lentigines (freckles/age spots) and small telangiectasia (capillaries/blood vessels)
Traditional surgical procedures for mole and lesion removal do not allow such fine control, and there may be more skin scarring. Because these traditional lesion removal procedures are cheaper, they may be preferred for mole removal in areas where a good cosmetic outcome is not so important, for example on the back or scalp. A surgical procedure can also be a viable treatment if the mole is small and the procedure would create a small scar.
Our doctor, nurse or skin therapist will help you decide which treatment is suitable for your mole or skin tag removal, taking into account your desired results and budget.
Radiofrequency mole and skin lesion removal
Radiofrequency ablation (removal) is a minimal scarring method for raised lesions such as moles, fibrous papules, sebaceous hyperplasia and seborrhoeic keratoses.
This surgical treatment is a good option for facial mole removal and the removal of moles in other highly visible areas of the skin since these mole treatments are less likely to scar.
Laser mole and skin lesion removal
Our Fotona Starwalker MaQX laser can target surface and deeper lesions, raised or flat.
Its Q-switched mode causes destruction of skin lesions by sound waves rather than heat, which reduces the risk of scarring and pigmentation after the procedure. It's particularly people for young people, those with darker skin, and people with melasma.
BBL intense pulsed light
BBL intense pulsed light is a treatment used in removal of flat and superficial pigmented lesions such as lentigines ("age spots"), broken capillaries and angiomas.
This is a useful method if there is general skin damage from the sun or there are large numbers of lesions that need treatment for cosmetic or medical purposes.
Low level light therapy
Low level light therapy (also known as LED phototherapy) has skin rejuvenation effects, but it is mainly used in combination with other mole removal treatments.
Low level light therapy commencing before a cosmetic procedure, and for 1-2 weeks after the removal of moles or skin lesions, enhances wound healing and helps return the skin to its optimal post-procedure appearance.
Shave excision or biopsy is a simple and relatively inexpensive way of removing a raised mole or other lesion without requiring stitches or ongoing aftercare.
We often perform an initial shave on raised lesions before treating the base with radiofrequency or laser. this allows us to physically remove a skin sample to test for evidence of cancer.
This procedure is more prone to scarring than some other methods and is not recommended for moles on the face.
How much does it cost to remove a mole?
The cost of removing a mole or other skin lesion varies according to the diagnosis and the method of removal. At the time of writing,
- If we remove a single freckle or seborrhoeic keratosis using cryotherapy, our procedure fee is under $20
- For removing a raised mole or skin lesion using shave excision or electrocautery, the cost is $90-$120
- We charge $120 per treatment per lesion for angiomas, telangiectasia and freckles/age spots removed using intense pulsed light/BBL.
- If we remove a single raised mole on a highly visible area using radiofrequency surgery, the out-of-pocket expense is $385. This fee includes complimentary LED light sessions and silicone gel to enhance healing and reduce scarring, as well as a follow-up appointments to check for and treat early signs of scar formation.
All moles and other skin lesions are examined by an accredited skin cancer doctor before removal. If there is any suspicion of skin cancer, a biopsy will be performed and there may be extra fees associated with this. In most cases, extra biopsy fees are covered by Medicare.
There is more detail about mole and skin lesion removal pricing on our pricing page.
Is it painful to remove moles?
When we remove moles using surgical techniques such as radiofrequency surgery, shave excision or electrocautery, we first inject the area with a local anaesthetic to make it numb. The local anaesthetic stings for a few seconds only. After that, you may feel pressure or stretching during the procedure, but no pain.
Intense pulsed light or broad band light, used for removing freckles, age spots and small blood vessels such as angiomas, is an extremely powerful light lasting a fraction of a second. It's usually briefly uncomfortable, but not actually painful if a single skin lesion is being treated.
Cryotherapy, sometimes used for the treatment of seborrhoeic keratoses, may result in mild pain for 20-30 seconds.
Moles and skin lesions suitable for cosmetic removal
A skin lesion is a spot, lump, bump or patch on the skin which appears different from the surrounding skin. A lesion can be flat or raised, dark or light, rough or smooth. Most lesions are harmless and appear as a result of normal skin development, ageing or long-term sun exposure.
Skin cancer is a type of lesion which can continue to grow and potentially cause damage to the surrounding tissue or spread to other parts of the body. Types of skin cancer are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. Skin cancer always requires treatment.
Moles and other skin lesions may not cause serious health issues, but they can be unsightly, uncomfortable, inconvenient or simply unwanted, so many people want them removed from their skin for cosmetic purposes. Many of these can be removed quickly and with minimal scarring, such as:
Should a mole be removed?
Most moles don’t need to be removed for medical reasons. The majority are normal and harmless parts of normal skin.
In some cases, moles should be removed:
- If the appearance resembles skin cancer and the mole needs to be biopsied to confirm the diagnosis
- If the mole is painful, bleeding or causing other symptoms
- If the mole is growing or changing in a way that resembles skin cancer
If this is the case for any of your moles, you should consult a doctor immediately. An accredited skin cancer doctor or dermatologist can recommend the right procedure to have the mole removed and tested to see if the mole is cancerous. Based on the results they can make recommendations for further treatments if required to optimise the health outcome.
But sometimes people want to remove moles because they don’t like the appearance. This is especially common for moles on the face. In this situation, it’s possible to remove a mole for cosmetic rather than medical reasons. This means it’s necessary to consider how the area will look after the mole is removed (in other words, how much scarring is likely from mole removal?)
We use procedures that we believe cause the least amount of scarring for the given type of mole or skin lesion. For example:
- Q-switch ablative or non-ablative laser for flat or small raised lesions such as junctional and compound moles, angiomas, telangiectasia, warts, seborrheic keratoses and more. This method is useful for people with large numbers of moles to be remove, especially if they are flat.
- Radiofrequency surgery for raised moles, seborrhoeic keratoses, skin tags, sebaceous hyperplasia
- Intense pulsed light for flatter and superficial (shallow) lesions such as freckles, angiomas, spider veins and broken capillaries
Can you remove moles by yourself?
It’s often possible to remove a mole or skin lesion at home using products purchased online or from pharmacies. However, just because you can remove a mole yourself, it doesn’t mean you should.
We always recommend that you have your mole checked and diagnosed by an accredited skin cancer doctor before you attempt to remove it yourself. It might actually be a skin cancer, which would require surgical removal, prescription medication or another procedure only able to be provided at medical clinics. Doctors are experienced in assessing moles and considering the medical and cosmetic requirements of the patient to get the best result from the mole removal process.
If a skin cancer doctor or dermatologist has examined your skin lesion, they can usually offer treatment, but it’s possible to treat certain skin lesions yourself. For example:
- Seborrhoeic keratoses can sometimes be removed by exfoliation
- Freckles can be faded using over-the-counter fading creams and solutions
- Warts can be treated using over-the-counter paint or sometimes do-it-yourself cryotherapy devices.
We don’t recommend any home treatments for moles, due to high rates of failure and/or side effects such as burns or scarring of the skin. For best results with mole removals, you should consider laser or IPL removal, a surgical procedure such as radiofrequency surgery, or another procedure performed by a health professional.