Mole removal

Can doctors remove moles?

Doctors can - and should - remove moles and other skin lesions for people considering mole removal. Doctors (specifically accredited skin cancer doctors and dermatologists) are experienced in examining moles, skin cancers and other skin lesions and can provide the appropriate medical or surgical treatment while reducing the risk of complications.

Mole removal can, and should be, performed by a doctor rather than any other health or cosmetic practitioner.

An experienced doctor (preferably an accredited skin cancer doctor) can examine the mole or skin lesion to determine:

  • the likely diagnosis, and
  • the appropriate treatment

If the "mole" is actually a skin cancer, or if it has signs that are suspicious for skin cancer, a doctor can either remove the entire lesion or just part of it as a biopsy to have it examined by a skin pathologist and conform the diagnosis.

Doctors can treat skin cancers, either with surgical excision, photodynamic therapy, topical anti-cancer drugs and other methods. Only a doctor can provide these treatments.

If the skin lesion of concern is a mole or some other benign lesion, and the patient requests removal for cosmetic purposes, an experienced doctor will be able to decide what method to remove to get the best cosmetic and/or medical outcome. For example, surgical excision can minimise the risk of moles coming back after removal. Radiofrequency surgery can remove raised moles with minimal scarring. And while non-medical laser clinics cannot perform mole removals due to the risk of inadvertently concealing a skin cancer, laser mole removal is safe if performed after careful examination by an experienced and qualified skin cancer doctor.

Should complications occur, doctors are able to manage bleeding, pain or infection.

In Australia, part of the cost of mole removal may be covered by Medicare if the procedure is performed by a doctor.

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