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Most moles are harmless and safe. However, moles are checked and treated or removed under the following conditions:

  • A mole that bleeds, is an unusual shape, grows rapidly, or changes markedly in color may be malignant and should be removed and analyzed by a pathologist.
  • An annoyance mole that is irritated by your clothing, hair utensils, or razors are often removed to prevent ongoing irritation. A mole that is unattractive to the patient is removed for cosmetic reasons.

Different methods of removal include:

  • A shave biopsy is when a sample of the mole is taken with a scalpel, and sent away to pathology for diagnosis.
  • Shave biopsy with laser is when a sample of the mole is taken with a scalpel, and then the underlying pigment is removed with a pigment removal laser. And if there no pigment present, then then the area is resurfaced with an Eurbium laser to smooth and blend the treatment site with the surrounding tissue.
  • Complete excision is when the mole is excised and sutured. This technique is usually reserved for a punch biopsy which leave minimal scarring if anything, or in the case of melanoma (mole cancers).

Treatments may need to be repeated as the deeper layers of the mole and islands of pigment may push to the surface with time. Moles sometimes grow annoyingly coarse hairs, which may be safely removed by shaving or tweezing. Permanent removal of the hair, which have roots deep within the skin, requires laser, electrolysis or complete surgical excision of the mole.


*Patients who request these procedures are referred upstairs to Symmetry Dermatology & Surgery to be seen by Dermatologist, Chris Keeling MSc. MD. FRCPC.