Unwanted moles can be removed bye surgery or laser. Surgical options for moles include shave biopsy or excision. Excision is usually undertaken when there is a suspicion that the mole may be abnormal or cancerous and it is important that the entire specimen is sent for pathological analysis. This involves local anaesthetic and the entire mole is excised with a small amount of normal skin and the wound is stitched. Scar is inevitable.
If the mole is benign or harmless as confirmed by a dermatologist using a dermatoscope, and if it is protruding and needs to be removed for cosmetic purposes, a shave excision may be undertaken. This method is undertaken using local anaesthetic, and is usually quick with very good cosmetic outcomes. One of the advantages of shave biopsy is that the raised specimen that is removed can be sent to the lab for analysis. Risks include scarring, infection, bleeding and in rare circumstances re-occurrence of the mole.
Finally for cosmetic purposes raise moles which are entirely benign can be lasered using the carbon dioxide laser or sometimes also treated by radio frequency. The biggest advantage of this treatment is the excellent cosmetic outcome which is far superior than any of the other listed options. Several moles can be removed in the same session and healing as usually within a week or two. A slight discolouration at the site of treatment and a risk of recurrence is associated with this treatment