Mole Removal

Most people have moles. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the average person has 10-40 moles.

Though these skin growths are usually harmless, many people don’t like the way they look, especially if they are large, unsightly, or conspicuously located on the face.

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Rapaport and his team have the expertise in both aesthetics and skin cancer to evaluate and remove moles. He can remove a mole for cosmetic reasons or help you identify if it is potentially cancerous.

*Individual results may vary.

Learn More About Mole Removal

Most moles are benign or non-cancerous. That said, because it is always possible that a mole is cancerous, it is best to get medical advice if you notice a mole that suddenly changes in size, shape, or color, bleeds, itches, or becomes painful.

Even if your mole has none of these concerns, it may bother you for aesthetic reasons. Patients unhappy with a mole’s appearance may wish to have it removed. At-home mole removal methods are typically ineffective and may be dangerous. If you are bothered by a mole, consult a medical professional like Dr. Rapaport to discuss your options.

Dr. Rapaport may perform mole removal for:

  • Skin tags are small growths that generally have small and narrow stalks. They are usually skin-colored but may also be darker in color and are typically painless.
  • Flat moles may refer to any dark spot or irregularity in the skin.
  • Raised moles can be a variety of colors and may run deeper into the dermal layers than flat moles.

Abnormal or unsightly moles can generally be excised in a brief and straightforward outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. Dr. Rapaport has vast experience in skin cancer treatment, particularly in treating malignant melanoma. His experience and expertise in skin cancer treatment make him an ideal specialist for identifying and treating both “normal” non-cancerous moles and “abnormal” pre-cancerous moles. Along with his knowledge of skin cancer treatment, Dr. Rapaport’s skill in cosmetic surgery enables him to minimize the potential of unsightly scarring during mole removal.

Shave Excision vs. Surgical Excision

It is possible to remove a mole by “shaving” it off rather than excising it. Shaving a mole offers the advantage of not having sutures but has the clear disadvantage that if the mole extends beneath the skin’s surface, as most do, it will predictably grow back, usually within weeks. It is for this reason that Dr. Rapaport usually does not recommend shaving off moles. 

Many patients who go to a dermatologist complaining of moles will have the moles shaved because many dermatologists are uncomfortable with performing excisions and delicate suture closure. Dermatologists often deal with these moles by performing a “deep shave.” This means that the lesion is essentially “scooped out,” with the shave extending lower than the surface of the skin. While this is more likely than a flat shave to remove the entire mole, the resulting scar may appear as an indentation in the skin, much like a chicken pox scar. Dr. Rapaport does not perform deep shaves for the reasons noted above.

Mole removal surgery and recovery are generally straightforward. If the depth of the mole merits an excision, stitches are used for closure and are left in for approximately one week. Dr. Rapaport most often performs mole excisions to ensure complete removal, minimal scarring, and lasting results. If the mole is superficial, it may be shaved, and no stitch will be required. 

The procedure typically takes less than half an hour. Dr. Rapaport uses a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort during the mole removal. Many patients also opt to take an oral medication (such as Valium or Ativan) before the procedure starts to be more relaxed. Mole removal surgeries are almost always performed at Dr. Rapaport’s fully accredited in-office surgical suite in Manhattan.

Regardless of technique, mole removal is fairly simple and affects only a tiny area, so downtime and discomfort are minimal. We will give you instructions for keeping the site clean and any additional aftercare tips. You must also protect the area from sun damage with a high SPF.

After an excision procedure, there will be sutures which may need to be removed. After a shave procedure, the mole removal site will form a scab that will fall off within a week. Once the scab comes off, the underlying area is usually pink or reddish, which may take several weeks to blend in with the surrounding skin. Proper care will help minimize scarring.

Dr. Rapaport’s goal is complete mole removal that doesn’t leave an unsightly scar and doesn’t allow regrowth. While moles may grow back after standard removal procedures at a dermatology office, Dr. Rapaport’s careful approach minimizes this risk. Your unwanted mole should be gone for good. Additionally, if the mole is potentially cancerous, it can be sent for testing.

Take the Next Step

Every patient’s transformation journey at Rapaport Plastic Surgery begins with a detailed consultation with Dr. Rapaport. To learn more about mole removal and determine if it’s the right choice for you, fill out the form below or call us at (212) 249-9955 to schedule an appointment. Our team is dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery NYC has to offer.

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