Is This a Benign or Malignant Mole, and Would Removing It Leave a Scar? (photo)

Hi, I have had this mole on the back of my head for a few years. I finally took a picture of it. I was wondering, is it malignant looking? Also, if I were to have it removed, would it leave a scar like my last mole removal did? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 4

Benign or Malignant Mole

We can't really give you a fair and thorough examination over the internet. Your best option is to see a board-certified dermatologist, who can evaluate the lesion and determine if it is benign or requires a biopsy. Any removal will cause a scar. Some scars look so good that they're barely perceptable and some are more noticeable. Best option... see the dermatologist and discuss with them your options. Good luck.

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

How to remove a scalp mole

The only way to be safe is to have your mole examined by a board certified dermatologist who can determine if a biopsy or removal is necessary for diagnosis. A picture is simply not a safe way to tell if the mole is benign. The good news is that when I remove scalp nevi (moles) I will usually use a "shave excision" method. The mole is actually "shaved off" at a level just below the surface of the skin. This method is quite effective to remove moles and leaves a minimal scar. No hair is removed or destroyed. The procedure takes less than a minute, and is fairly painless. Moles that are removed in this fashion will rarely recur enough to be bothersome. If they do, they can always be excised and sutured at that time, but this rarely happens. I would not recommend consulting a plastic surgeon as they rarely do shave excisions. You can follow the video link below to learn more about identifying the changes in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.


Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Benign or Malignant Mole?

I echo the other contributors' reticence in rendering an exact diagnosis based on a picture, but given that hair is growing out of the lesion, it is unlikely to be malignant.

As for it's removal, it could be done in a relatively inconspicuous manner. Keep in mind that removal of a circular lesion means that the resultant scar will be longer than the diameter of the lesion. It would be about 2.5 - 3x the diameter. But because it would be flat, it would be less conspicuous. In addition, if you grew your hair longer, it would be virtually unnoticeable. Hope that helps.

mike kim, md


Michael M. Kim, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Mole Diagnosis

None of us would be resolute in giving you a confirmed diagnosis from a picture. You should schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to have this examined and removed if needed. Most removals, yes, will leave a bit of a scar behind, hence you are removing something from the skin, so there will be a bit of something there! Many scars are so minimal you won't even notice, and most physicians do all they can to make any removal scars as tiny as possible.

F. Victor Rueckl, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.