Mole Removal NYC

Dermatologist specializing in safe & effective cosmetic mole removal

Mole Removal at Wall Street Dermatology

Cosmetic mole removal involves safely removing unwanted moles on the skin while minimizing scarring near the excision.  It is an outpatient surgical procedure performed at Wall Street DermatologyDr. Julia Tzu is a surgical and cosmetic dermatologist specializing in cosmetic dermatology involving scar revision, skin reconstruction, and laser treatments.

Mole Removal Before and After

Benign moles are a common occurrence found in the majority of the population,  and its removal is typically not considered medically necessary. However, if you are not pleased with the appearance of your mole or choose to remove it for personal preference, moles can be safely and effectively removed for cosmetic reasons.

Here at Wall Street Dermatology we can offer expert benign mole removal via an individualized approach.

Dermatologist Dr. Julia Tzu on Cosmetic Mole Removal

Dr. Julia Tzu

“Cosmetic mole removal is one of my favorite procedures because of how satisfying its outcome can be to patients who have waited too long to remove an unsightly mole. Mole removal can be performed via a variety of modalities, and I always seek to find the least invasive option to provide the best cosmetic outcome. However, even when the only option is surgery, mole removal can still result in imperceptible scarring because of special surgical techniques and equipment I utilize.”- Dr. Julia Tzu, MD, FAAD

What Causes Moles?

Benign moles appear due to a variety of factors, with the most common being a combination of environment and genetics. Those with a family history of moles are more likely to develop them, and factors like age and sun exposure can contribute to their formation.

While most moles are of no medical concern, new or existing moles that change color or shape may warrant immediate evaluation. At Wall Street Dermatology, we’ll help you determine if mole removal is in your best interest.

Types of Moles

Moles, also known as nevi (nevus, singular) can come in many forms, with classification based on when moles develop in life and how they appear clinically and under the microscope. Whether for medical or cosmetic reasons, Wall Street Dermatology treats many different types of moles, so you can get the help you need no matter what.

Below are some of the most common types of moles.

Atypical or Dysplastic Nevus 

Atypical moles, also referred to as dysplastic moles, are defined by their unusual features when viewed under a microscope. Clinically, they can have irregular borders, inconsistent pigmentation, asymmetrical, or appear bumpy or raised in an irregular way.  These moles are common and considered benign, but individuals with them should take care as they can be a marker for increased risk of melanoma. 

If a person has more than 50 of these moles, they may be at higher risk for skin cancer, and a biopsy can be performed to assess whether an irregular appearing mole is actually atypical or dysplastic. Some biopsy proven atypical or dysplastic nevi may need to be completely surgically removed as they are considered “precancerous”. 

Spitz Nevus

Spitz nevus moles are a rare kind of non-cancerous growth that can occur anywhere on the body. These moles are defined by their domed shape and reddish-brown pigmentation, and have been known to grow quickly and then not grow at all for a long period of time. While Spitz nevus moles are considered benign, many dermatologists feel that they should be surgically removed due to its unusual appearance under the microscope, and thereby avoid potential confusion with melanoma. 

Acquired Nevus

While some of the moles that a person will have appear at birth, acquired moles are ones that have formed after birth. This is a common occurrence, so common that acquired moles are also referred to as “common moles,” and in most cases, they are no cause for concern. These moles have benign features including a round shape, symmetry, smooth borders, homogenous color, and small overall size. 

While not medically concerning, these moles are often removed for cosmetic reasons.

Congenital Nevus

Congenital moles, often commonly referred to  as “birthmarks”, are moles that form within the first year of a baby’s birth. Congenital moles only occur in 1-2% of the population. They can be found on any part of the body, and although benign, they should be monitored for potential signs of melanoma.

Congenital nevi may sometimes be perceived as unsightly and removed for cosmetic reasons.

Mole Removal Before & Afters

Mole Removal Cost NYC

Cosmetic mole removal out of pocket costs depends on the size and location of the mole, and the complexity of the technique utilized for removal. Because the procedure is considered cosmetic and elective, removal is not covered by health insurance.  In general, we advise our patients to budget between $400 to $2,000 per treatment session of each mole removed. Multiple sessions may occasionally be required to get to the optimal cosmetic outcome on the mole removed.

Recovery

Recovery for most mole removals is simple and brief, and patients often return to their daily routine immediately following a procedure. For shave and laser removal procedures, aftercare involves applying vaseline and a bandage for 7 to 14 days, after which point the treatment site should be mostly healed. Surgical excision requires sutures following the procedure, and in the 2 weeks after surgery, exercise should be avoided to prevent reopening the wound.

Mole Removal Results

The results of mole removal can vary depending on the procedure that was performed, but most patients should notice the disappearance of their mole immediately following their procedure.

Following a shave removal, patients should notice that their mole has completely disappeared, flattened, or significantly reduced in size. This method of removal can be effective for superficial moles, but for moles that travel deeper under the skin, they may reappear over time.

Surgical mole removal is meant to be a permanent solution for larger and deeper moles, as the goal is to remove them at the base. So long as all of the mole tissue has been removed and there is a border of normal tissue around the excision site, the mole should not recur.

Laser mole removal can be an effective way to completely remove superficially located moles, although incomplete removal and recurrence is still possible. Once the treatment area has healed, patients should notice the mole and resulting pigmentation has lightened.

Procedures for Cosmetic Mole Removal

Dr. Julia Tzu in scrubsCosmetic mole removal can be accomplished by three main methods–shave removal, surgical excision, and laser. The choice of which method to use to accomplish the best cosmetic outcome will be determined by the type of mole, the size of the mole, the color of the mole, the location of the mole, and the individual’s skin type.  An experienced board certified dermatologic surgeon will consider all of these elements in formulating the best plan to remove your mole

Surgical Shave Removal

Shave removal is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which the mole is surgically sculpted down to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding skin. It can be used to remove small, superficial moles (junctional nevus) or small, fleshy protuberant moles (intradermal nevus). While this is a simpler and faster procedure compared to traditional surgical mole removal, there is a higher chance that the mole can recur if the mole has a deeper component (“roots”) . The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes approximately 5 minutes. Follow-up care involves only vaseline and a bandage for 7 to 14 days. Sutures are not used with this method, so you may return to your normal daily activities sooner than traditional surgical mole removal. 

Surgical Excision

Traditional surgical excision of a mole is reserved for larger and deeper moles called compound and intradermal nevi. Compared with shave removal, it is a lengthier and technically more complex procedure. The skin around the mole is first numbed with an injection of local anesthesia. The mole is then surgically excised all the way down to the subcutaneous layer to ensure its complete removal. The excisonal wound is then carefully closed with sutures, which are removed in 1-2 weeks. The method of closure, also called skin reconstruction, may range from simple to complex depending on the location of the surgery. The entire procedure usually takes about 30 minutes. Follow-up care involves only vaseline and a bandage for 7 to 14 days.  You can go home immediately after the procedure but are advised to avoid exercise for 2 weeks to prevent reopening the wound.

Laser Removal

While laser removal is not usually the recommendation of choice for the majority of moles, it can be appropriately utilized in specific circumstances. Superficially based moles that are deemed completely benign by an experienced board certified dermatologist may be appropriately and successfully removed with laser treatment.  Laser treatment is not recommended and contra-indicated for any moles that are irregular or which may be cancerous.

Mole Shaving vs. Excision

Moles are most commonly removed via a superficial removal called a “shave removal” or a deeper surgical removal that involves sutures. While shave removals are a quicker and less costly procedure, it can leave the base of the mole remaining. This means that when the shave wound heals, the brown discoloration can recur at the base and the mole can eventually reform again. True surgical removal requires more sophisticated techniques, are more time consuming to perform, and are more costly, but remove the mole completely so that probability of recurrence is reduced.

Which cosmetic mole removal procedure is best depends on an assessment of the depth of the mole, patient’s personal goals, and the location of the mole. There are certainly instances in which a shave removal provides the best outcome and there are instances when a surgical removal provides the best outcome. During your cosmetic consultation, Dr. Tzu will listen to your specific concerns and formulate with you the best treatment strategy depending on your individual goals and other limiting factors.

Why Choose a Dermatologic Surgeon over a Plastic Surgeon?

Mole removals are generally done by specialized cosmetic dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Dermatologic surgeons are specialists whose sole professional focus is medically diagnosing skin growths, tailoring the type of skin surgery to the type of skin growth, and optimizing scarring outcomes on the skin.  There is no other medical specialist more experienced and focused on understanding the biology of skin growths and its removal as well as improving scarring outcomes of the skin than dermatologic surgeons. While plastic surgeons are experts in cosmetic enhancements overall, cosmetic skin surgery is only a partial subset of the types of cosmetic procedures they routinely perform.  Scarring from many of the more invasive surgical cosmetic body procedures is only a secondary consideration. If going to a specialist with the most amount of expertise and experience is important to you, you may want to consider seeing a dermatologic surgeon over a plastic surgeon for skin surgery.

Choose Wall Street Dermatology

You can schedule a visit with Dr. Julia Tzu and her experience team at Wall Street Dermatology to explore further with us. If you are interested in exploring a cosmetic mole removal procedure, you can book a cosmetic consultation with Dr. Tzu for a 1:1 session to explore possible mole removal procedures. We’d love to explore how we may be able to restore the natural beauty of your skin.

Mole Removal FAQ