Best Method to Remove Mole Size of Pencil Eraser on Right Side of Nostril? (photo)

Mole size of pencil eraser on right side of nostril, what is the best way to remove it with minimal scarring? I've seen a derm who suggested shaving the top layer off and just hoping the pigment will all come out..and I've seen a laser plastic surgeon who said excision should be last resort and I should instead do 2 treatments of ipl laser and yag laser. What do i do?

Doctor Answers 5

Best method to remove a mole on the nostril

I have had a great deal of success removing moles on the nostril using a "shave excision" method. With this technique, the mole is actually "shaved off" at a very superficial level just below the surface of the skin. This method is quite effective and leaves a minimal scar. The procedure typically takes less than a minute and is fairly painless. Dermatologic surgeons, not plastic surgeons, typically do this procedure expertly which is why your plastic surgeon recommended against it and suggested using a laser. I feel that it is never appropriate to use a laser as your primary treatment for removing a mole. Regardless of how "benign" a mole may appear, a biopsy may still reveal it to be atypical. There are many ways to surgically remove a mole with a minimal scar and have tissue to send for microscopic examination which is the only way to ensure that it was benign. You can follow the video link below to learn more about identifying the changes in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.

South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Mole removal

I would recommend that you consider a shave excision for the mole on your nostril.  The procedure can be done within a few minutes.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Scalpel Sculpting and Dermaplaning Work Well For Removing Facial Moles In All Locations

Although removing moles by any method from the face is likely to leave a small scar, scalpel sculpting, which involves no deep cutting or stitches has, in my experience, proven quite successful for achieving gratifying aesthetic results while leaving little, or often barely perceptible, scars anywhere, including the nose.

The technique, which I have been using for thirty years, involves "scultping the mole" off from the surrounding skin in a tangential fashion (i.e. not cutting deeply into the skin). Deep cutting will inevitably result in a scar, while superficial (horizontal) removal in this fashion largely avoids this. Elliptical and fusiform simply describe the resulting shape of a wound excision after cutting them out deeply and before the placement of the sutures.


Following scalpel sculpting, the borders of the mole can then be smoothed and blended with the surrounding normal skin by "dermaplaning," a technique by which the edge of the scalpel is used to delicately abrade the skin. Properly done, the entire procedure, performed under local anesthesia, takes no more than three to five minutes. Perfectly flat moles (beauty marks, birth marks) can be elevated a tad with the local anesthetic and then more easily scalpel sculpted away and shaped to the contour of the surrounding skin.

NO MOLE SHOULD BE BURNED OFF, CHEMICALLY PEELED, LASERED OFF, or removed by any other destructive modality as none of these methods permits sending a specimen to the lab to confirm that the mole is entirely benign. Anyone experienced with taking off moles knows that every now and again a mole removed for purely aesthetic reasons may surprise you and come back atypical. 

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Best Method to Remove Mole Size of Pencil Eraser on Nostril

I would agree with Dr. Schwartz. A shave removal will give a nice result, and allow the piece to be sent to a lab for proper examination. True moles cannot be removed with IPL.

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

Best Method to Remove a Mole and Leave Minimal Scarring

After removing approximately 1,000 moles by direct excision, I abandoned this technique 15 years ago in favor of the microscopic radiofrequency layered lesion removal method. The benefits are:1. less scarring 2. no need for suturing 3. a more controlled removal.  4. A 5 minute procedure.

Joseph Rucker, MD, FACS
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 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.