What Is Involved in Removing an Armpit Mole?

M.C. Huguelet

When moles, or abnormal clusters of skin pigmentation cells, develop in the armpit area, they can cause several problems, such as difficulty shaving, discomfort, and self-consciousness. Luckily, it is possible to remove an armpit mole. In most cases, removal of a mole in the armpit involves a minor surgical procedure followed by a short recovery period. It is also possible to purchase topical mole removal ointments, although many medical experts caution that these are not a reliable removal option and may even be unsafe.

An armpit mole.
An armpit mole.

An individual may seek armpit mole removal for a number of reasons. Sometimes a mole can impede one’s ability to shave the underarm area thoroughly, or become irritated when it is rubbed by clothing. In some instances, people seek removal of an underarm mole simply because they find it unsightly, while in other cases an armpit mole may be removed at a physician’s suggestion.

Flat armpit mole.
Flat armpit mole.

Most of the time, removal of an armpit mole involves a very minor surgical procedure which is generally performed by a dermatologist. Immediately before the procedure, the dermatologist will usually inject or rub the mole site with a numbing agent. Then, she will either quickly scrape the mole away with a scalpel, or use a “hole-punch”-type instrument to cut out the mole and a small area of skin around it. In the case of large moles, she may then need to stitch the wound site. Either way, she will usually apply a bandage to the treatment area.

Moles can be removed with a scalpel.
Moles can be removed with a scalpel.

Surgical armpit mole removal generally requires a brief recovery period. During this time, the patient must follow her physician’s instructions for keeping the wound site cleaned and covered. She may need to take over-the-counter pain medications to minimize soreness. If her surgery involved stitches, she will likely need to return to her dermatologist’s office after several days to have the stitches removed.

An armpit mold can interfere with one's ability to shave their underarms.
An armpit mold can interfere with one's ability to shave their underarms.

In some countries, it is possible to buy over-the-counter removal ointments for moles located in the armpits and elsewhere. With repeated application, such creams are supposed to lead to the formation of a scab beneath a mole. This scab in turn causes the mole to fall off. Medical experts caution, however, that mole removal creams do not necessarily work, and that in rare cases they can even lead to scarring or infections.

As with any mole, an armpit mole which is abnormally large, discolored, irregularly shaped, or painful should be evaluated by a physician to rule out the possibility of potentially fatal skin cancer. If one’s physician finds a mole suspicious, she may remove it. She will likely then send it out for laboratory analysis to determine whether it is cancerous.

Moles may be malignant if they are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, appear to spread their color into surrounding skin or change in appearance.
Moles may be malignant if they are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, appear to spread their color into surrounding skin or change in appearance.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

Talentryto, my mother had a mole removed from her armpit and didn't have very much discomfort at all. She just had to use some topical medication for a short while, and return for stitch removal. I'm sure the size and exact location of the mole depends on the healing time and pain level, and varies with each patient. But overall, I seems like there really isn't much to having this procedure done.

Talentryto

This procedure sounds like it could potentially be uncomfortable or even down right painful. I have been considering having a similar mole removed, but am reluctant. Does anyone have experience with this type of mole removal?

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