Is It Safe to Have Laser Hair Removal Where There is a Mole?

I am considering laser hair removal for my underarms, but I have a mole on my underarm, would I need to remove my mole before Laser Hair removal or is it ok to do the laser hair removal on the area where I have a mole?

Doctor Answers 6

Have your mole examined by a dermatologist before you start Laser Hair Removal.

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Once your dermatologist confirms the nature of the mole, laser hair removal should be acceptable to the area. If it's a brown mole, it may burn, or fade. You could also consider IPL Permanent Hair Removal. When we treat an area with a mole, we put a small piece of white paper over the mole so it remains unaffected.

I hope this is helpful for you.

West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Laser hair removal over mole

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If the mole looks suspicious and there is some concern of it being cancerous, then the mole should be biopsied prior to doing any procedure.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Board-Certified Dermatologist Should Examine Mole before Laser Hair Removal

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Anytime there are moles in a laser treatment area, one needs to be careful. If the mole has been examined and documented by a board-certified dermatologist, one should have no worries. If the dermatologist is concerned, removal of that lesion may be warranted. If the area is treated without anyone checking, and something happens years from now, it will be difficult to know if the laser played any kind of role in that lesion changing.  Documentation is a must – and a board-certified dermatologist needs to be the one looking at this.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Hair Laser Removal on a Mole

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Ordinarily, yes it would be fine to have laser hair removal over a mole. The exception would be if the mole looks suspicious of being cancerous. For example, larger than a pencil eraser, irregular borders, painful, different colors etc. In that case, you should see a board certified physician to have the mole removed and biopsied before any laser hair removal services.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 127 reviews

Laser hair removal

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If the mole is benign, laser hair removal has not been reported to transform such a mole into a malignant, or cancerous one. If any mole though, changes in size, bleeds, develops irregular edges, or different colors at any time in the future it should be looked at by a dermatologist. Your mole should be evaluated by a dermatologist before the laser hair removal to give you reassurance.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

?? Removal of Mole

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Interesting you bring this up. Yesterday, I received a report of someone with a very atypical mole in the axilla (armpit). She was sent to me for excision prior to laser hair removal.

Last year a man presented for removal of a plethora of skin tags. I noticed one that looked very strange: dark and ominous. It was a melanoma.

Bottom line: a dermatologist should check the mole out before proceeding. However, if you are having the laser hair removal procedure performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, why not just have it removed? It is a very simply done.

I do not think the laser would transform the benign mole into a melanoma. While laser might knock out some of the melanocytes that manufacture pigment, since the light needs to be attracted to pigment to work, I do not believe this would be carcinogenic.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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.