Is a mole removal procedure safe?

Is a mole removal procedure safe, submitted image.

I have always been unpleased about a mole I have on my arm and I would really want to remove it because it's unaesthetic and uncomfortable but I am scared if the procedure is safe or not. Growing up I remember my parents and the family doctors always saying that I should be very careful not to disrupt it because moles are very dangerous. Is it recommended to remove moles and most importantly, is it safe?


F, 31, New York

Tags:arms mole safety excision

Yes, one of the safest procedures performed by a medical professional is mole removal. People mainly come to us for two reasons -- one is to remove the mole for cosmetic reasons; the second is to see if the mole is a form of skin cancer.

Consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. If it is potentially cancerous, you'll want to have it removed right away. If it isn’t but you want to have it removed because it bothers you or looks unsightly, they can perform the procedure as well.

Ask your doctor about which mole removal procedure is best for your situation. After removal of the mole, it will be sent to a lab as a precaution for analysis. Surgical removal of your mole may leave some scarring, but know you've had it removed and checked for cancer will provide you with peace of mind.

One other note. You should avoid removing the mole on your own by using home remedies like mole removal creams or other do-it-yourself skin care products that promise to remove the mole.

Mole removal is a very safe procedure that is typically performed in a dermatologist's office. Moles are not simple skin growths like a wart or a skin tag that can be easily removed. Moles run deeper and wider and are not something you should attempt to remove at home with a razor blade, emery board, or over-the-counter creams. Trying this on your own leads to the potential for infection, bad scarring, and other side effects. Plus you won't know if the mole is cancerous.

The best course of action is to consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, get your mole checked, and discuss your options for removing it. They'll perform the procedure in a sterile environment, work with you to limit pain during and after the procedure, and most importantly, send a sample of the mole for analysis (to a pathology lab) to determine if there are any indications of cancer.

Removal is safe and wise when dark moles are on the larger side.  I would recommend having a plastic surgeon evaluate it and be sure they send it for analysis to a pathologist.

Mole removal is probably one of the safest procedures you could think of and very often life saving if that mole happens to be a melanoma. There will be a scar which may be as noticeable as the mole or even more noticeable. You should have that mole evaluated and possible removed.