What Are the Different Types of Cosmetic Surgery for Moles?

Marlene Garcia

Cosmetic surgery for moles consists of shaving, cutting, or laser removal. The method might depend on whether the mole appears solely on the surface of the skin or penetrates more deeply. The appearance of the mole might also dictate the type of cosmetic surgery performed. If skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy usually is performed before a mole is removed by cutting.

Moles removed by shaving have a chance of growing back.
Moles removed by shaving have a chance of growing back.

The shaving method of cosmetic surgery for moles removes the top layer of skin to make it even with surrounding tissue. Patients might choose this procedure when moles rub against clothing and cause chafing, and when moles are unsightly. A cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist typically uses a blade to shave these moles and cauterizes the area to stop bleeding. Moles removed by shaving might grow back if cells remain in deeper tissue.

Cosmetic surgeries are often performed with a scalpel.
Cosmetic surgeries are often performed with a scalpel.

Cutting, also called elliptical cosmetic surgery for moles, removes the surface skin and deeper cells in surrounding tissue. This method is used to improve appearance, and on moles that have changed into suspicious-looking growths. The surgeon commonly uses a scalpel to excise oval areas containing moles before stitching the wound with sutures. This form of cosmetic surgery for moles might leave scarring, which can later be diminished by skin resurfacing.

A raised mole.
A raised mole.

Laser cosmetic surgery for moles usually leaves fewer scars because light does not penetrate deeply into the tissue. Patients typically do not require anesthesia for this procedure and experience little discomfort afterward. Laser surgery might require more than one session to completely remove moles.

Flat skin mole.
Flat skin mole.

Except for laser surgery, a surgeon typically uses local anesthesia to numb the area before removing moles. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic. Costs for each method of cosmetic surgery for moles vary depending on typical charges in the region. Insurance usually does not cover mole removal to improve appearance.

To remove a mole, doctors may cut or burn it off.
To remove a mole, doctors may cut or burn it off.

Moles are commonly present at birth and might be linked to genetics. They can appear anywhere on the body and vary in size and color, ranging from pink to black. These growths might appear flat or elevated, and sometimes develop in clusters in one area of the body. Some moles get darker and larger during puberty or pregnancy, when hormonal levels change. The color of moles might start fading after the age of 50.

Laser cosmetic surgery for moles usually leaves fewer scars because light does not penetrate deeply into the tissue.
Laser cosmetic surgery for moles usually leaves fewer scars because light does not penetrate deeply into the tissue.

Some patients seek cosmetic surgery for moles when they appear on the face and interfere with shaving or cause embarrassment. Other people see a doctor when moles change in color, size, or shape. Moles that become asymmetrical might indicate skin cancer. In these cases, small sections of moles are excised for a biopsy to determine if cancer cells exist. Later, these moles usually are completely removed, along with deeper tissue.

Woman with a mole above her upper lip.
Woman with a mole above her upper lip.
The appearance of the mole may dictate the type of cosmetic surgery performed.
The appearance of the mole may dictate the type of cosmetic surgery performed.

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