Mole Removal Techniques

Mole Removal is offered at our convenient location in New Jersey

Moles on female face

There are many techniques used for mole removal. In this article we will review the instances when mole removal is appropriate, various types of non-recommended home therapy removal techniques, and destructive mole removal techniques. We will then discuss the Vanish Center mole removal techniques and the principles of the vanish system.

Table of Contents

When To Remove A Mole

There are several reasons to remove a mole:

  1. Changes

    Any changes in size, shape, or color should be evaluated by a doctor

  2. Symptoms

    Development of symptoms (bleeding, itching, scabbing, etc.)

  3. Daily Activities

    Interferences with daily activities like shaving. For example, if the mole becomes repeatedly traumatized by the razor

  4. Cosmetic

    Moles may be removed cosmetic purposes if warranted

Home “Remedies” for Mole Removal

Unfortunately, there are many home “remedies” that have been recommended, sold, and advertised for mole removal. Moles should never be treated with home remedies. There are multiple reasons not to remove a mole with home “remedies”. Typical home remedies include:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe Vera
  • Garlic
  • Banana Peels
  • Baking soda +  Castor Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil

Reasons to Avoid Home Remedies

Need for Proper Evaluation – The mole should be evaluated by a doctor prior to removal. Many times, a biopsy of the mole is recommended either before removal or at the time of removal. The biopsy is performed to ensure that the mole is not cancerous or pre-cancerous.

Inadequate Treatment – The melanin cells in a mole are deep in the epidermis and sometimes in the dermis. In order for a home “remedy” to be effective it would need to penetrate to that depth. If a home remedy does penetrate to that depth, it would be dangerous to use, and if it doesn’t penetrate to that depth (which is usually the case), it will be ineffective and will likely leave a scar.

Scarring – There is a significant chance of scarring as the home “remedies” are superficial and not precise. This means that they do not only affect the mole cells, but they affect local normal cells as well, leading to scars which are larger than the original mole.

Just think about it – If lasers are often ineffective in penetrating deep enough to remove a mole, how likely is it that apple cider vinegar is going to do the job?

Traditional Mole Removal Techniques

Biopsy Procedures

Biopsy procedures involve surgically removing a portion of the mole which is then typically sent to the lab to be evaluated under a microscope. The amount, size, and shape of the biopsy depends on the presentation and location of the mole. An incisional biopsy removes a portion of the mole leaving some behind, an excisional biopsy removes the entire mole with or without margins of normal skin.

Shave Biopsy

A shave biopsy is a form of an incisional biopsy in which a portion of the mole is shaved off with a scalpel and sent to a pathologist for evaluation under a microscope. Typically, the area will heal on its own without the need for sutures. This method is meant for diagnostic purposes, and it is not meant to remove the entire mole. After this procedure, it is likely that the mole will return rather quickly. Sometimes an aggressive shave biopsy is performed to remove the entire mole however this can lead to significant scarring.

Surgical Excision

A surgical excision is performed when the entire mole is to be removed. This may be performed for three reasons:

1 – To make an accurate diagnosis when it is felt that a shave biopsy is not adequate

2 – To remove an entire lesion along with the borders or normal tissue after a shave biopsy reported abnormal results

3 – To remove a mole for cosmetic purposes

Since the mole is round, closure of the area after removal would result in a “bunched up” appearance. Therefore an elliptical excision is commonly performed to create a straight line closure. Although this leads to a more aesthetically appealing result, this closure will be 1.5 to 3 times larger than the original mole.

After a mole is excised, several sutures will typically be required to re-approximate the skin edges. These are normally removed within 3-14 days.

“Destructive” Procedures

Destructive procedures “destroy” the mole tissue rather than excising it. There are many destructive techniques. These techniques typically require local anesthesia but no sutures. They heal naturally similar to a scratch, scrape, or abrasion of the skin. There are 3 main drawbacks of destructive procedures.

1 – They do not provide tissue to be evaluated by the pathologist. So, a diagnosis is not made.

2 – They are not precise, and they “destroy” normal cells along with mole cells.

3 – They do not extend through the full thickness of the skin, and they may leave mole cells in the deeper layers of the skin, resulting in the recurrence of the mole.

Laser

Laser treatment is probably the most commonly used technique. It may be successful in the hands of experienced laser operators and when used on an appropriate mole. However, lasers emit a large amount of destructive energy which can result in scarring of the mole area as well as the surrounding previously normal skin. Laser treatment typically does not reach the base of the mole and can therefore have a high incidence of recurrence.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a technique that is used to freeze the tissue and create a “frost bite” of the area. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the area to temperatures of −4°F to −22°F. The frost bite kills the tissues of the affected area. The issue again is that in order to transmit the cold to the deeper layers of the skin, the treatment has to be applied for a longer period of time. This leads to the death of a significant amount of healthy skin in the area, resulting in scarring.  In addition, the strong blood supply to a mole makes it resistant to the frost bite induced by cryotherapy. In contrast lesions such as warts are superficial and do not have as robust of a blood supply as moles do and therefore are much better candidates for cryotherapy treatment.

Electrosurgery

Electrosurgery is similar to the other destruction techniques, but it uses electricity to “burn” the tissue. The same issues that doctors find with other destructive techniques are found in electrosurgery. The burn isn’t deep enough and the mole recurs, or it is deep enough but a significant amount of healthy skin tissue is destroyed in an attempt to reach the proper depth, resulting in scarring.

Mole Removal Procedures Performed at the Vanish Center in New Jersey

Incisionless Mole RemovalTM

5-7 minutes per area Minimal discomfort – No downtime

After an evaluation by a doctor, if your mole is a candidate for an Incisionless Mole RemovalTM, you can discuss the details of the procedure and scheduling possibilities with the doctor. Most of the time, the procedure can be performed on the same day. The Incisionless Mole RemovalTM was developed at the Vanish center in New Jersey by Dr. John Amato. Used for moles and similar types of lesions, this procedure is performed in the office with just a small amount of numbing medication. The area is removed layer by layer using a special radiofrequency technology. The technology allows the radiofrequency to be extremely precise without generating heat. Lasers and other removal techniques may transmit unnecessary heat to the tissues which may result in unnecessary scarring of the area. The procedure takes 3–5 minutes per area with minimal discomfort and no downtime. This technique has led to safe and predictable outcomes with remarkable aesthetic results for hundreds of patients.

Precision ShaveTM

8-10 minutes per area – Minimal discomfort – No downtime

If the mole does not qualify for an Incisionless Mole Removal, a Precision Shave may be recommended. At the Vanish Center in NJ, The Precision Shave Technique TM is performed in the office with just a small amount of numbing medication.  The visible portion of the mole is removed using a series of micro surgical instruments.  This technique and specialized instruments allow for a much more precise removal than a traditional “shave biopsy” procedure. Once the visible portion of the lesion is removed, additional tissue in the area is removed and the area is smoothed out and faded into the surrounding skin using a specialized radiofrequency device. This device functions similarly to a laser or electrosurgical unit, except that it is much more precise. Unlike the laser and electrosurgical unit, the radiofrequency tip is cool not hot. This precision, cool tip allows for more precise removal with minimal damage to the surrounding normal skin. This results in less scarring. The removed area is sent for evaluation by a pathologist under a microscope. The procedure takes 8-10 minutes per area with minimal discomfort and no downtime.   

After a Precision Shave procedure is performed, the resulting area will look like a scrape or burn, similar in size to the mole that was removed.  The area will heal on its own, similarly to any scrape or burn.  The healing process takes approximately 7-10 days

The Vanish Center Mole Removal SystemTM

The Vanish Center, located in Florham Park, NJ, specializes in the treatment of soft tissue abnormalities in areas of cosmetic concern.  Our team of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and Pediatric Craniofacial Surgeons are specialized in the aesthetic removal of skin and mucosal lesions.

We developed the Vanish Skin Surgery System by combining surgical, and radiofrequency techniques with the knowledge of cosmetic surgery, skin resurfacing, and dermabrasion.  

Our center works as a team with our referring doctors to provide coordinated care for all patients.  From mole removal to reconstruction after cancer, our team works with our referring doctors to achieve the safest and most aesthetic results possible.

Over the past several years, we have been fortunate enough to remove skin growths and reconstruct skin defects in cosmetically significant areas for patients from all over the country. This type of surgery has become a rewarding and much-welcomed area of expertise for us.  We are grateful for each opportunity to provide the highest level of care for our patients

Principles of The Vanish Skin Surgery System

Vanish system is used only by doctors who are properly trained in its methods and techniques. The system is a comprehensive approach to skin lesion evaluation and treatment consisting of:

An in-depth medical, medication, scarring, and skin lesion history  

A Clinical Examination

A Skin Type Classification

Dermatoscope Examination (when necessary)

Incisional Biopsy prior to removal (when necessary)

Removal of Lesions using the most cosmetically sensitive techniques

Reconstruction using local and regional tissue flaps (when necessary)

Pathologic evaluation of removed lesions

Topical medications both before and after therapy, when necessary, to improve the final cosmetic results

Intra-lesional medications before and after therapy, when necessary, to improve the final cosmetic results

Consistent Communication with referring doctors (telephone calls, web conferences, photos, biopsy reports, etc. Whatever it takes to give each patient the highest level of care.)

Summary

In summary, the most important aspect of mole removal is an evaluation by a properly trained doctor to make sure tha the area is a normal mole and dysplastic, pre-cancerous, cancerous or some other type of pathology. If the mole is felt to be irregular, then a discussion with your doctor should be had about which procedure is recommended to ensure that a proper diagnosis is made and a treatment plan is formulated. If the mole is felt to be a typical mole, then one of the discussed removal techniques can be used to remove the mole, or the decision not to remove the mole can be made. The choice will be the patient’s based on their level of comfort with procedures and their aesthetic concerns. Removal techniques include surgical excision, shave biopsy, destructive techniques, and a precision shave technique. Remember, two of the most important things that you can learn from this article: do not use home remedies, and visit a dermatologist regularly for skin checks.

Mole Removal FAQs

Can I just cut off my moles at home?

NO. There are three reasons not to cut off moles at home. First, they should be checked by a doctor to make sure they do not need to be biopsied. Second, cutting a mole off at home can result in scarring of the area or infection. Third, it is likely that the mole will not be removed deep enough and there is an increased chance that the mole will grow back. When it grows back it will have an element of scar tissue which can make it harder to successfully remove the second time.

What is the average cost for mole removal?

Mole removal costs can range from $150 to up to $1,500 depending on the size and location of the mole as well as the experience of the surgeon and the technique used.

Do moles grow back?

Yes moles can grow back. This is especially likely when attempted at home. The challenge is removing the mole deep enough to prevent recurrence, but not deep enough to create a scar.

Plastic Surgery For Skin Growths & Abnormalities

83 Hanover Road Suite 240 Florham Park, NJ 07932

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