Moles, cyst and skin tag removal

Moles are brown or black spots on your skin, also known as pigmented lesions. Benign (non-cancerous) lesions can be left alone but, if your mole bothers you in any way, you may want to have it removed.

How are moles, cysts and skin tags removed?

The technique used for mole removal depends on how big it is and where it’s located. It’s usually a quick procedure, carried out by our Consultant team or GP with a special interest in dermatology, in the outpatient department.

There are two popular treatments for mole removal. Shaving is often used for moles that stick out from the skin and can simply be shaved away under local anaesthetic, allowing it to be flush with the surrounding skin. The area may then be cauterised to stop any bleeding. Removal by surgery is carried out under local anaesthetic. Your Dermatologist will use a scalpel to cut the mole and a border of good skin surrounding it. A small stitch will secure the skin.

I have a question about mole, cyst or skin tag removal

What are moles?

Moles are skin blemishes of various sizes and colours on the body or face. They may be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and can be a variety of shapes and sizes. Moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth edge and they may have a hair growing from them. They can change in number and appearance, often fade away over time.

How are moles caused?

Moles are caused by melanocytes, the cells which make the pigment in your skin, growing in clusters or clumps – instead of being spread through the skin.

How are moles diagnosed?

If any skin lesion or mole is causing you concern for medical reasons, you’ll need to ask your GP to examine it in order to rule out any risks that it may be cancerous. Sometimes the only way to diagnose certain skin conditions is with an excision of a lesion for diagnostic purposes (skin biopsy).

When should I see my GP about a mole?

Although most moles are harmless, it’s important to get your doctor to look at any mole or skin lesion that:

  • Doesn't heal after four weeks
  • Gets bigger or changes shape or colour
  • Has an irregular edge
  • Is patchy in colour or is multi-shaded/ has more than one colour
  • Itches, bleeds or is crusty and scabbed for more than four weeks

Why would I have a mole checked by a specialist and when would I get rid of a mole?

While most moles are completely harmless, they may be unsightly, which can affect your confidence, or they can be a nuisance. For example, if you regularly cut them while shaving or if they catch on your clothing.

If this is the case, you may want to have the mole removed. As this type of cosmetic surgery isn’t routinely provided on the NHS, you can contact us directly to arrange treatment.

If your GP has concerns about a mole, they can refer you to our Consultant Dermatologists to establish whether they’re malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). If a mole is diagnosed as malignant it would need to be removed and examined in a laboratory to ensure that it’s all been removed.

What are the benefits of private mole removal?

There are physical benefits, since a mole that’s in close contact with clothing can rub, become sore or uncomfortable and bleed.

But having a mole removed doesn’t just benefit you physically. The emotional benefits of mole removal can include a significant improvement in your confidence, especially if the mole or lesion has left you feeling self-conscious.

Some moles can be a sign of health problems, and your Consultant may recommend they be removed for ‘peace of mind’ and to reduce the risk of further health problems associated with the mole or lesion in the future.

What happens during a mole or skin lesion removal?

  • Most lesions are cut out using a scalpel and the wound closed with stitches. Alternatively, they may be 'shaved' down to the level of the surrounding skin
  • Skin tags may be simply snipped off with sterile surgical scissors
  • Minor skin lesions, such as warts, may be frozen off with liquid nitrogen gas

How long it takes to remove the lesion will depend on its size and where it’s located.

What should I expect after a mole or skin lesion removal?

You’ll be able to go home shortly after treatment. Depending on the size and location of the lesion, your Consultant may recommend that you don’t drive or take part in any physical activity for a while afterwards.

Any stitches will need to be removed at your GP practice; you’ll be given information about this on the day of your procedure. A follow-up appointment will be provided, if needed, to help with your recovery.

How much does private mole removal cost?

For more information on mole removal, contact a member of our team today. For pricing information visit our treatment pricing page.

Our Consultant Dermatologist

Dr Ayerst

Kurt Ayerst

Dermatologist

Dr Ayerst's specialties include skin cancer management, complex medical dermatology, male genital dermatology and dermascopy.

Contact us about mole, cyst or skin tag removal

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