You can have a mole removed while you are pregnant. This would normally be done for medical rather than cosmetic reasons (i.e. the mole resembles a skin cancer and should be removed as soon as possible). Most mole removal techniques are completely safe during pregnancy, but some low-scarring techniques such as radiofrequency surgery, laser ad IPL are not recommended during pregnancy. Many prescription creams or for the treatment of sun damaged skin or pre-cancerous solar keratoses are not safe during pregnancy. These include fluorouracil, imiquimod and tretinoin. Always check with a doctor if you are contemplating treatment for a mole or any other skin condition during pregnancy.
Removing a mole during pregnancy is often considered due to changes that occur to the skin. New moles, seborrhoeic keratoses, pigmentation and skin tags commonly appear. These are normally harmless and treatment isn't required, but certain new/changing skin lesions can appear suspicious (e.g. irregular shape, rapidly changing, black coloured moles or moles with black structures). If a suspicious mole (i.e. one that resembles skin cancer) appears during pregnancy, it's almost always better to have it removed without waiting until the end of the pregnancy.
Suspicious moles are best removed using surgical techniques such as excision with stitches or shave excision. These procedures and the medications used for anaesthesia have been proven conclusively to be safe during pregnancy.
If cosmetic removal of a mole is considered during pregnancy, we often recommend waiting until after the pregnancy (and sometimes breastfeeding) are concluded. This is because some of the lowest-scarring techniques have not been extensively tested during pregnancy or breastfeeding and we can't guarantee their safety.
Safe cosmetic treatments during pregnancy:
- surgical excision
- shave removal
Potentially harmful or safety not proven during pregnancy
- topical tretinoin and fluorouracil (and others - these are the most commonly prescribed ones for treating sunspots, freckles and solar keratoses)
- radiofrequency surgery
- laser and IPL treatments