You may choose to remove a mole for health, cosmetic or comfort-related reasons. Depending on the type and size of your blemish, you may be able to choose one of the following removal options:
1. Scalpel Excision (Removal)
The most basic type of mole removal is the scalpel excision that can be performed quite simply as an outpatient basis in a clinic office. Your medical professional will numb the area with an injection, clean the area to prevent infection and then use a scalpel to remove the blemish. The blemish may then be sent to a laboratory to check if it was irregular (in which case it will be tested for cancer).
Besides the blemish itself, she will also remove as much of the base as possible so that all of the colored skin is gone. She will mostly likely then complete the process with stitches, which require you to return in about a week for removal, or with a liquid stitch, which will dissolve on its own after a few days. If the base of the blemish is particularly small, as may be the case with skin tags, you may not even require stitches and instead will have to cover the small wound with a bandage to prevent infection as the skin heals itself.
If the mole is only slightly raised from the skin, your medical professional may choose to cauterize the blemish off of your skin instead of using a scalpel. First, she will numb and clean your skin and then she will use a burning tool to burn away the blemish and its base. This procedure does not require stitches, as the burned skin will heal over time (although it will likely leave a lighter mark than the rest of your skin).
3. Shaving (Biopsy)
If the blemish is raised from your skin, your medical professional may decide that a biopsy is all you need to remove the protruding part of the blemish (although some darker color of the base may remain on your skin). Your mole will be numbed and cleaned, and then your medical professional will use a scalpel to shave off the protruding portion. No stitches are usually necessary. This may be the extent of your treatment, or it may just be the first part if your medical professional wants to test for skin cancer before total mole removal.
4. Laser Excision
Perhaps the least likely method to leave noticeable scarring is laser excision, which acts much like scalpel excision only a laser is used in place of a scalpel to remove the blemish and base. Lasers also decrease the chance of infection, as they make cleaner cuts. You will not need stitches with this method, as the laser will evaporate the colored cells of the blemish without cutting into the skin.
5. Home Treatment
While not always recommended, particularly not if your medical professional thinks the blemish is irregular and may indicate cancer, you can try to remove your blemish at home on your own with a specialized kit that may involve cleaning the area, scraping the blemish with a pumice stone and then applying an acidic cream so that the blemish will form a scab and fall off after 7 to 30 days. This is a slower, more painful process that may lead to infection and scarring, but it is generally cheaper.
Your dermatologist or cosmetic specialist will be able to examine your mole and best determine your eligibility for these removal options. Some physicians are even able to perform these basic outpatient procedures from their offices, but if your blemish is on your face or in another delicate area, you will likely have to see a specialist.