Mole Removal for Slightly Raised Facial Mole?

I have a small brown raised mole on the side of my face I want removed. It does have a few hairs that grow out of it that I pluck with tweezers. It doesn't cause any problems I just have never liked it. It does get puffy sometimes though. What would we the best type of surgery to remove it?

Doctor Answers 10

Scalpel Sculpting for Removing Moles Without Stitches

Moles, often called "beauty marks" or "birth marks," are pigmented skin growths that may be completely flat or project above the skin surface. Typically, they may range in color through the entire spectrum of browns, from fawn-colored to extremely dark brown. Ocassionally, they may even be blue or nearly black. Removing them for cosmetic purposes, particularly from the face and neck, is a routine, simple, in-office procedure that takes less than five minutes to perform.

Scalpel Sculpting is my favorite method of removal since this technique does not require deep cutting into the skin nor sutures (stitches) to close the wound. The procedure is quite simple. The area directly under the mole is anesthetized locally with a tiny drop of lidocaine and then the surface of the mole is "sculpted" with a scalpel horizontally flush with the skin surface to leave a completely smooth area. The removed tissue is then sent to the laboratory to confirm that it is entirely benign and the "scratch"-like wound is left to heal by itself.

I strongly advise against any removal techniques, such as lasers, cautery, freezing or acids that simply destroy the tissue and do not permit laboratory confirmation that the mole is entirely benign and contains no evidence of malignant melanoma (mole cancer).

Following scalpel sculpting, the normal skin surrounding the wound supplies new cells to cover the surface of the wound, which heals by itself completely in about seven to ten days. During this time, little care is required, except for covering the wound with some ointment and a Bandaid.

Hairs growing out of moles will not be treated by this method, since the cutting is so superficial and the roots of the hairs are so deeply situated within the skin. However, these may be treated by electrolysis of laser hair removal at a later date.

Since scalpel sculpting requires no deep cutting nor the placement of sutures, there is little chance of any scarring and no chance of leaving stitch tracks. Because most moles have some sort of root that is located below the surface, there is a small chance of a recurrence, which can easily be treated in only a matter of moments. Most people are extremely gratified with both the simplicity of the procedure and the cosmetic results.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Elliptical excision and closure is the best for mole removal

From your picture this is a benign probably intradermal nevus. A "shave" excision as some dermatologists sometimes do will leave a "crater" or small contour deformity type scar...also the nevus has a decent change of coming back. I do quite a number of these and excise them precisely in the direction of the skin lines (Langer's lines) and send them for pathology just to be sure it is not something malignant or worrisome. Then I close the incision precisely with very small sutures and they heal great with a small "linear" (line-type) incision that once completely healed is usually imperceptible.

Hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Complete Removal of mole is necessary to minimize recurrence

A mole is like an iceberg. What is visible is just the tip. The mole extends down through all the skin layers until the fatty layer is reached.

Therefore, a "shave" removal, as is typically done, will have a very high chance of recurrence. Also, if the mole is suspicious, only complete excision will give the best pathology diagnosis.

I agree that complete removal with skin closure is the best treatment. To obtain the best cosmetic result, I recommend a board certified plastic surgeon.

Best of luck.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Mole Removal On Face

It's impossible to tell from any picture, but my opinion from the photo and your description, is that this probably is a benign mole.

There are two ways to remove nevi like this, shave and excision.

You should have the actual lesion examined by a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, and maybe get a few opinions.   We all have our preferences, sometimes based on how we are trained, and sometimes on how much money we can make doing something either way (sorry, but it's the truth).    See a few doctors and trust your gut.  

Michael A. Greenberg, MD
Elk Grove Village Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Excision of facial mole

Excision with plastic surgical closure will trade the raised, colored lesion for a flat, fine line scar. Additionally, the specimen would be sent for pathology analysis. In a fair skinned individual, this should heal well with no visible scarring after full healing has been completed.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Mole removal

This mole can either be completely surgically excised or a shave excision can be done.  Either way, it should be sent to pathology for evaluation.  

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

Mole Removal

Moles should be removed in total, so that they can be sent for pathological diagnosis.

You will be trading the mole for a scar. You have to decide if the tradeoff is worth it for you or not.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Mole Removal on Face without scar

The best way to remove this mole which would leave the smallest chance of a scar would be through a superficial shave removal. An excision of any kind may leave a larger scar from stitches.  When it is such a small raised scar it is best to removal it and flatten it out in the manner described. For the best cosmetic results please consult a board certified dermatologist with experience in cosmetic dermatology. 

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

This mole can be surgically excised

The mole can be removed using plastic surgery techniques and likely get good results.  I have removed a number of moles like this.  Below is link to a patient review posted on realself with a similar mole to yours.

Dev Wali, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Mole Removal on Face

There are two ways to go about removing a tan or skin-colored mole on the face: tangential excision (shave removal) or excision with suturing. In either case the tissue should be sent in to be evaluated under the microscope. For tan or skin-colored lesions tangential excision works quite well and gives a very good result. Excision with suturing also works well. Either case will leave a scar. You can't cut the skin without leaving a scar. The idea is to leave a scar that blends in well. Frequently, tangential excision is the best option because the scar tends to blend in well. If the mole (nevus) has a lot of pigment in it, it should be excised and sutured because sometimes pigment will recur in the scar. If the lesion is suspicious for cancer, it should also be excised and sutured. Best of luck.


Andrew Kaufman, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 16 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.