It is important to note that the removing a mole, whether flat or raised, should be done by a skin cancer doctor or dermatologist to reduce the risk of missing a diagnosis of skin cancer. Raised moles can be removed in a number of ways, including: radiofrequency surgery, shave excision, excision with stitches and cryotherapy (freezing).
It is important to note that removing a mole, whether flat or raised, should be done by a skin cancer doctor or dermatologist to reduce the risk of missing a diagnosis of skin cancer. Raised moles can be removed in a number of ways, including:
- Radiofrequency surgery: A doctor burns off the mole using radio waves. This allows very fine control over which tissue is treated, and it minimises damage to the surrounding skin
- Shave excision: A doctor uses a sharp blade to horizontally shave off the mole at its base.
- Excision with stitches: The entire mole is removed by cutting through the full thickness of the skin with a margin of normal skin around the edge of the mole. This leaves a hole in the skin which is closed using stitches to pull the edges together. This technique is more commonly used to remove a flat mole.
- Cryotherapy: This involves freezing the mole or skin lesion with liquid nitrogen to destroy the tissue.
Advantages of these methods include:
- Radiofrequency surgery: less scarring than other techniques for removing raised moles, quick procedure. This is our recommended technique for removing moles from the face with the lesat amount of scarring in most cases.
- Shaving: Quick procedure, relatively inexpensive. Also useful for removing flat moles.
- Excision: Effective at removing the entire mole, with minimal risk of it growing back. Suitable treatment for skin cancer.
- Cryotherapy: Quick and inexpensive treatment for some raised skin lesions.
Disadvantages of these methods include:
- Radiofrequency surgery: more expensive than some other mole removal methods
- Shaving: There is a risk of the mole growing back. Some people develop raised scars or pigmentation changes at the site of the shave excision
- Excision: More invasive than other methods, with a longer recovery time and a higher risk of scarring.
- Cryotherapy: Less effective for moles than other types of raised skin lesions (e.g. seborrhoeic keratoses, skin tags, molluscum contagiosum). High rate of skin lesion re-growth, high risk of scarring or depigmentation
It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of each method with a skin cancer doctor or dermatologist before making a decision about which method to use.