If you have a mole or lesion on your face or another part of the body, you may want to have it removed. This is because moles and lesions can be unattractive, and it’s possible they could get bigger and even turn cancerous.
Fortunately, you can rely on your board-certified plastic surgeon to safely remove most moles and lesions.
The most common way moles and lesions are removed is a shave excision. The surgeon will use a sharp razor to remove the growth in many cases. Other doctors may also use an electrode to feather the edges of where the lesion is removed, so the scar is harder to see.
After the mole or lesion is removed, the doctor may send it to be analyzed at a laboratory. Again, it’s essential to check if it’s cancerous.
Dr. Smita R. Ramanadham is a double board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in mole and lesion removal. She will perform your mole and lesion removal surgery with the skill and artistic sense necessary for the best, natural-looking result. Dr. Smita also performs other facial and body cosmetic procedures in the New Jersey, New York City, and Tri-state areas.
Mole And Lesion Removal Procedure
A shave excision is the most common way to remove a mole or lesion. Steps for this procedure are:
- The doctor will inject the tissue under the mole or lesion with an anesthetic. This will numb pain but also raises the growth, so it’s easier to remove.
- The doctor will remove the growth with a razor by making several cuts horizontally. There may be a pushing feeling as the doctor cuts the tissue, but there won’t be any pain.
- They may do electrosurgical feathering to shape the sides of the wound. This removes cells from the lesion that were left behind. It also reduces scarring.
- They may apply aluminum chloride hexahydrate to the skin to reduce bleeding.
- The surgical site is cleaned, and the doctor will apply an antibiotic ointment to promote healing.
- The wound is covered with bandages to not rub on your clothes or get infected.
If you have a skin tag, there are several ways it can be removed:
- Snipping: The surgeon will apply an anesthetic and cut it off with small scissors.
- Freezing: Your surgeon may remove the skin tag with cryotherapy. This involves using nitrogen to remove the tag. It will take about 10 days to fall off. The only downside with this procedure is it may irritate the skin where the tag was removed.
- Burning: The surgeon applies an electrode that shoots electric signals into the skin tag. It dries the tissue and it falls off after a few days.
Some doctors may use a laser to remove certain types of moles. In particular, moles that are raised from the surrounding skin may benefit from laser removal.
But if the doctor thinks the mole may be cancerous, they won’t use a laser; the laser vaporizes the mole. If it might be cancerous, the doctor will want to have it analyzed.
Mole And Lesion Removal Benefits
The most obvious benefit of this procedure is it removes the mole or lesion, which may be unattractive or affect your self-confidence. Moles and lesions also can rub on clothing, or jewelry may get stuck on them.
Also, moles and lesions can eventually become cancerous, so it’s wise to have them removed. The doctor will send the mole or lesion to a lab to check if it’s benign or cancerous. Some of the most common benign growths include:
- Angiofibroma: Small red-brown lesions
- Skin tags: Stick out from the skin like a tag
- Dermatofibroma: Small, hard lesions that usually occur on the legs or lower torso
Or, the doctor may find out the lesion is cancerous. If so, they may refer you to a skin cancer doctor for follow-up treatment.
Ideal Candidates For Mole And Lesion Removal
If you aren’t happy with how a mole or lesion looks on your body, you are probably an ideal candidate for this procedure. This treatment is usually safe and effective for most people regardless of their age or skin tone.
While mole or lesion removal is a simple outpatient procedure, it’s important to be in good overall health before having it.
Your doctor will look at the skin you want treated and note any moles or lesions you want to be removed. They may suggest having a biopsy performed if they suspect the mole might be cancerous.
They also will check your medical history to see if you are ready to have the procedure. Plus, they will want to review any experiences you’ve had in the past with cancerous lesions or moles.
Surgery Preparation For Mole And Lesion Removal
This is usually a simple outpatient procedure, so not much preparation is needed for mole and lesion removal. The doctor will clean the area before the procedure and numb it.
Mole And Lesion Removal Risks And Complications
The most common side effect from a mole or lesion removal is bleeding, if shave excision is used. If this happens, you can usually stop the bleeding by pressing on the surgical site with a bandage or dressing for 20 minute if this happenss. But if it continues to bleed after 20 minutes, call your surgeon.
There also will be some scarring where the mole was removed. But you can often lighten the scar by applying one or more of the following:
- Topical silicone gel
- Ointments that contain petroleum
- Vitamin A or vitamin C cream
You can buy these products at most drug stores. If you see a raised hard scar forming, call the surgeon. Also, you should keep the treated area out of the sun for a month or so. Always put sunscreen on it if you are exposed to the sun.
Most people don’t get infections from mole and lesion removal. But call your surgeon if you notice extreme tenderness, pus coming from the surgical site, or increasing redness or swelling.
Also, a common mole or lesion will not come back. But if the lesion was cancerous, it may return. The cells may spread the cancer if it isn’t treated immediately. So, keep an eye on the area and tell your doctor if you see any changes.
Mole And Lesion Removal Recovery
This is a minor procedure in most cases, so the recovery is usually fast. You may note some tenderness and mild pain in the treated area for one to four days. This is normal and will fade as the skin heals.
Keep the treated area clean and covered with bandages for one or two days to protect it. Then you can remove the dressing and keep the treatment site clean. The doctor will check it after one or two weeks.
Removing a mole may require a deeper excision, so there may be a scar. But you can do several things to minimize this issue.
First, don’t touch the treated area as much as possible so the skin is kept tight as it heals. Also, keep the treatment site out of the sun which can damage it. Make sure you wear sunscreen on the treatment site any time you are in the sun for the first month.
If you are having a mole or lesion removed, you may want to have other procedures at the same time. You can make a big impact on your appearance and get all of your recovery done at one time.
Popular procedures that patients sometimes choose with mole and lesion removal include:
Mole And Lesion Removal FAQ
If you are considering mole or lesion removal, below are some of the most common questions about the procedure:
What Causes Moles?
Moles usually result from clusters of melanocytes, which are skin cells that make melanin. Melanin is the pigmentation that is usually distributed evenly on the skin but may sometimes group together to make moles.
Many people are genetically predisposed to get moles and lesions. If they run in your family, you should have your skin checked every few years to see if any moles or lesions are growing.
Why Should I Have A Mole Removed?
Removing a mole may make you feel more attractive and it also can improve your self-confidence. Also, moles and lesions can be cancerous and removing them prevents the cancer from spreading.
How Will The Doctor Remove The Mole?
Some doctors use simple excision with a razor. However, most moles grow below the epidermis, so shaving or burning it may not work.
This means the doctor may need to excise deeply into the underlying tissue to ensure it doesn’t grow back. If the mole isn’t removed below the skin surface, it may come back.
What Should I Do To Get Ready For Mole Or Lesion Removal?
Before it is removed, you should avoid skin irritation and protect that part of the body from the sun. On the day it is being removed, don’t apply skin products or makeup to that area.
The doctor will clean the area before he excises the mole or lesion.
Can I Tell If A Lesion Or Mole Is Cancerous?
Most moles are one color and symmetrical in shape. They don’t change in appearance as months and years pass. If you notice a mole is changing in appearance, you should have a doctor look at it as soon as you can.
Your doctor will have the mole or lesion analyzed in a laboratory if they suspect there could be cancer.
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Mole Or Lesion Removal?
Mole removal usually doesn’t need sutures, so recovery is fast. But if you have a lesion removed with sutures, you should listen to your surgeon’s instructions about how to care for the sutures and bandages.
The sutures will probably dissolve on their own, but some surgeons may use stitches that need to be removed.
Will The Procedure Hurt?
No. Whether the doctor uses a razor, scalpel, or laser, the site will be numbed with an anesthetic so you won’t feel anything other than a slight sting when the numbing medication is injected.
The doctor will make sure the area is numb before they start the procedure. Most patients feel no pain during the procedure and only mild discomfort after the anesthesia wears off.
What Will The Surgical Site Look Like Afterwards?
The mole will be removed, and there will be a small wound where the mole was. It will usually be covered by the doctor with ointment and a small bandage that you can take off the next day.
The surgical site will scab over and drop off after a few days, leaving a new patch of skin. After the skin heals, the scar is usually small and hard to see.
How Long Should I Wait Before Using Makeup?
If the mole or lesion is removed from your face, you should wait until the surgical site starts to heal, which is usually within 10 to 14 days. If you have any questions about when you can apply makeup, talk to your doctor.
Can I Have Things Removed Other Than Moles And Lesions?
Yes. Patients have other things removed, including birthmarks, cysts, blemishes, and more. Talk to your surgeon if you have other things on your skin that bother you.
Is Mole And Lesion Removal Worth It?
Having a mole or lesion removed is often a wise move because it may be attractive and affect your self-confidence. Moles and lesions also can rub on clothing, making you uncomfortable, and don’t forget it’s always good to have it removed to check if it’s cancerous.
Moles and lesions may not be a medical problem, they are often undesired. Learn more about lesion and mole removal at our facility with Dr. Smita Ramanadham to rid yourself of unwanted skin growths on your face and body. In addition, having a specialist examine your mole will help alleviate your concern regarding any possible medical problems. Arrange an appointment at our New Jersey office to have your skin examined by Dr. Ramanadham.
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Surgical Excision Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at
Surgical Excision Of A Mole. (2022). Accessed at https://aedit.com/procedure/surgical-excision-of-a-mole