I am often asked about removing a mole without leaving a scar.
There is a lot written on the Internet about this and YouTube seems to be full of videos of people demonstrating home remedies that can ‘quickly and easily remove your mole leaving no visible scarring‘.
The reality is that it is not possible to remove a piece of skin without leaving a scar of some sort.
However, often the scars fade so well that they are difficult to see and so people think that they are not there.
The question should not be ‘how do I remove my mole without leaving a scar?‘,
it should be ‘how do I remove my mole leaving the best scar possible?‘
There are many ways to remove a mole but the common theme is that the piece of skin that contains the pigment cells of the mole needs to be destroyed in some way.
- You can burn it with heat or energy like a laser.
- You can destroy it with acid.
- You can scrape it off.
- Or you can cut it out with a knife.
They will all remove your mole and they will all leave a mark or scar of some kind.
There are pros and cons of each method and so you need to weigh up what would be the best for you.
Perhaps the most important question is to find out whether there is anything suspicious about your mole. The best way to test this is to send it away for histological analysis.
This is only possible to do if your mole is removed by cutting it out with a knife because all the other ways will destroy the tissue and so it cannot be analysed.
This is particularly important for brown moles because even if there is no concern that they are cancerous, there may be reasons to get a histological report anyway.
If you were to develop signs of skin cancer later on in life such as enlarged lymph notes, your doctors would look closely at your skin for a potential source of the cancer.
If you tell them that you had a mole removed some years ago, then they would want to see a histological report to confirm that that was not the cause of your current problems.
If the mole was not sent away for histology, then there is no way to be sure that it wasn’t actually cancerous.
In terms of the scarring created, then it can be variable for all the modalities of treatment.
When destroying the skin with heat, laser energy or acid, it can be difficult to judge the amount of energy needed to completely destroy the mole.
If you do not use enough energy then there may be evidence of a residual mole left behind
…and if you use too much then this can increase the scarring.
It is more predictable when you use a knife, if it is being used in skilled hands.
My advice for patients who want to know the best way to remove their mole without leaving a scar is this:
- First of all, there is no way to remove a mole without leaving a scar
- Secondly that excising it with a knife is probably the most predictable and effective way, with the added benefit of allowing us to perform histological analysis if required.
If you have a mole that you are concerned about the first thing to do is to get it checked out by a doctor.
You can download our guide with five things you need to know about your moles here.
We offer free consultations if you would like an assessment and opinion by one of our fully trained plastic surgeons and we also offer a ‘see & treat’ service that will allow you to have your mole removed on the same day as your consultation if this is something that you would like to consider.