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Safest way to remove moles

The safest ways of mole removal

Moles are simply small coloured spots on the skin, and the majority are completely harmless. They are brown or black growths on the skin, sometimes raised, sometimes with hairs growing out of them.

It is important to keep an eye on your moles, as any changes may be indicative of melanoma. Check out our ABCDE Guide to Checking Moles for more information. If there is a possibility of a mole being cancerous, it will be removed by the NHS. However, if you would like a mole removed for aesthetic reasons, you will have to go to a private clinic.

We asked our Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Sharon Critchlow* and Registered Nurse, Jane Lewis, to give us an overview of moles and the safest ways to remove them.

What is a mole?

The word ‘mole’ is often used in a layman fashion to describe just about all skin lesions. In the correct usage, it refers to a melanocytic naevus, composed of melanocytes. These have the potential to turn into melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. Ideally, unless very large or limited by location, any suspicious melanocytic lesion should be cut out in its entirety.

Moles are different from skin tags and therefore need to be diagnosed by a specialist doctor or a dermatologist. The reason for this is that a mole is more complicated than many other skin lesions such as skin tags.

What does the mole removal procedure involve?

There are many factors which determine the procedure that would be recommended. Some clearly benign lesions can be shaved, scraped (curetted), or burnt (hyfrecated). However, some lesions need to be sampled (biopsied) or cut out entirely with a margin of normal tissue around it (excised). Your doctor will advise on which procedure would be best suited if any at all. You are always welcome to seek a second opinion but cannot demand a particular type of procedure if it is not deemed to be in your best interest.

Firstly, we will clean and mark the area to be treated. You will be given an injection of a local anaesthetic similar to that used by the dentist. This works within minutes to numb the area, but you remain fully awake and able to feel pressure. Once the area goes numb, the rest of the procedure is very comfortable. People often remark that it’s weird as they know they should be feeling something but they are not.

Only biopsies and excision require sutures. Shaves, curettage and hyfrecation do not. The stitches may be dissolvable or may need removing in one to two weeks’ time.

We will always complete the appropriate paperwork and tell you about aftercare. You will need to keep the area dry for two days and not soak in a bath or swim for approximately two weeks until healing is complete. It is important to not pick at any scabs that form.

How long does the procedure take?

On average most procedures take between 30-45 minutes. Often it takes longer to set up beforehand and do the paperwork afterwards than the actual procedure.

How long will it take to heal?

The length of time to heal depends predominantly on the site of the lesion. The face tends to heal within a week while the legs often take more than two weeks. Other factors such as smoking, diabetes, age and associated illnesses will also play a role.

Will there be a scar?

You will always have a scar and scars are permanent. The type of scar depends on the procedure. Scars vary between different people (some are prone to developing overgrown scars) and at different sites depending on the forces acting on it, e.g. stretching and pulling over muscular areas. In general, facial scars heal best.

Will you test the mole for cancer when it’s been removed?

It depends. If the mole is a very stable and (in my view) clearly benign, it can be shaved or hyfrecated without necessarily being tested. If, however, you are worried or there is any doubt whatsoever about it being cancerous, it will be sent away for analysis. As a default, we do recommend that the vast majority of lesions are sent for checking as this is considered best practice – occasionally even benign-looking lesions can show abnormal changes.

There are a number of websites with DIY mole removal remedies. Can I try those?

You should never attempt mole removal at home. At best it would be quite painful and may lead to infection. At worst, skin cancers can be missed and not diagnosed until it is too late!

How do you know that the person removing the mole is medically trained and qualified to remove moles?

You must see a suitably qualified doctor or dermatologist for any concerns regarding your moles. Ask the clinic for the name and qualification of the practitioner who will be seeing you, and check on their professional register to ensure that they are indeed registered with them.

Dr Crichlow is the professional offering this service at The Skin to Love Clinic. She is a Consultant Dermatologist on the GMC Specialist Register, a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, and worked as an NHS Consultant at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital from 2009 until she started practicing exclusively in private practice in 2017. Mole assessment and removal has been a part of her job plan since she started her Dermatology training in 2004.

*NB Dr Crichlow is a General Dermatologist and NOT a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon. Therefore, depending on the size or location of a lesion, e.g. if it is close to the eye, lips and other sensitive cosmetic areas, Dr Crichlow may advise referral on to a Plastic Surgeon, Maxillofacial surgeon or other specialist surgical colleague to ensure that you get the best possible cosmetic outcome. Only relatively small, uncomplicated lesions will be treated at The Skin to Love Clinic. Patients deemed high risk for medical reasons, e.g. blood thinners and pacemakers, may also require further advice. Although email queries (with photos if a patient wishes) are accepted, please note that a full consultation is mandatory before any procedure takes place. Please note also that attending said consultation does not guarantee that a request for a procedure will then be accepted. In most cases, the procedure will not be done on the same day and will need to be booked in. The Skin to Love Clinic and its practitioners reserve the right to refuse treatment after the consultation and/or to refer elsewhere if deemed necessary. Please be reassured that all decisions are made on clinical grounds only and with your best interest in mind.

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Amazing & very knowledgeable staff. Very informative in regards to how to use products and the products are very high quality. Not too expensive and already showing signs of improvement. Would highly, highly recommend.
Lucas Wagstaff
Lucas Wagstaff
08:07 02 Mar 20
Amazing experience. Jane The dermatologist was knowledgeable but also caring, she gave me tailored advice and an aftercare plan. She made sure I knew what was going to happen and was comfortable throughout the whole procedure. She listened to my concerns and found ways to work with my situation, even gave me some stress ball to help with my nerves :). Looking forward to my next appointment.
Al Bo
Al Bo
16:01 23 Feb 20
had my first treatment today what a lovely experience. Can’t wait till I can see the results and my follow up treatment next month. Thank you Jane 😊
Jacqui Coleman
Jacqui Coleman
14:22 23 Feb 20
My therapist was very attentive listening and watching to check I was not uncomfortable.I felt confident in her hands due to her professionalism.
Rachel Moffat
Rachel Moffat
07:25 14 Feb 20
I had 2 skin tags removed by my eyes made me feel very calm and was told what was going on lovely staff make you feel comfortable definitely recommend to anyone
amanda cooper
amanda cooper
13:34 18 Jan 20
Fantastic clinic. Lovely warm and welcoming team who really are experts in their field. My skin has never looked better! I highly recommend.
Hayley Naunton
Hayley Naunton
18:52 03 Jan 20
Thank you Jane, for the friendly professional way you looked at my skin problem with me, it was certainly a lot more in depth and informative than I was expecting, I started the two products that you recommended, using them last night and this morning. I am looking forward to laser treatment you recommended to reduce the scarring that acne has left on my face. First class service, thank you. — Brandon
Ian Nixon
Ian Nixon
13:29 28 Dec 19
I had my consultation with Jane today to discuss best treatment for my skin concerns. she was very knowledgable and informative and gave me the best options for my concerns. I was very happy, definitely recommend "Skin to Love Clinic".
Pari Nixon
Pari Nixon
15:29 27 Dec 19
I cannot recommend the team the innovation and treatments more highly than at the Skin To Love Clinic. They are at the cutting edge of beauty and have new ways and procedures that make your skin look beautiful. I've spent many years on Harley and Wimpole street and assumed you couldn't get this level of investment and treatments anywhere else but the Skin the Love clinic not only offer every top treatment but the Jane and Sue are so skillful and have a real eye for what will work for you. Their mini thread lift is incredible as is their 'vampire' treatment but skin since I have moved to St Albans has improved dramatically
Annie Lonie
Annie Lonie
01:08 25 Dec 19
The staff are friendly, professional and very helpful.Dr Critchow’s knowledge is second to none. I highly recommend this service
Ifrah Ali
Ifrah Ali
18:08 17 Dec 19
The nurse who saw me was excellent - friendly, professional and sympathetic to my condition. I was treated with respect and felt extremely comfortable and reassured throughout the appointment. I would thoroughly recommend Skintolove to anyone with a concerning skin condition.
Paul Jones
Paul Jones
16:44 14 Dec 19
Jane is absolutely amazing (as with the rest of the team of course!). She goes above and beyond to make you feel at ease before, during and after treatment and ensures you're comfortable throughout. I love the Skin to Love clinic and all everything everyone has done for me. Always a very happy customer!
Ella Brearley
Ella Brearley
18:10 09 Nov 19
Thank you Jane, for the friendly professional way you looked at my skin problem with me, it was certainly a lot more in depth and informative than I was expecting, I started the two products that you recommended, using them last night and this morning. I am looking forward to laser treatment you recommended to reduce the scarring that acne has left on my face. First class service, thank you. — Brandon
Ian Nixon
Ian Nixon
18:57 03 Nov 19
Top class treatment, unique experience from start to finish. Impressive after care service, could not praise enough
Stephen Kendall
Stephen Kendall
17:31 19 Oct 19
I have several issues with my skin and have been working with my doctor to deal with them. He referred me to a Dermatologist who advised on the treatment I needed. It took me a while to find the right place with the level of expertise that I needed and The Skin to Love Clinic ticked all of the boxes. My first experience with The Skin to Love Clinic was about 2 years ago. I had a consultation with Jane and immediately knew I was in good hands. I had a series of Fraxel laser which dealt with the issue as well as improved the quality of my skin. I am now dealing with a different issue and without hesitation made an appointment with Jane. What a relief to know that once again, I will be in the best hands and get the most appropriate treatment for my skin, not only dealing with the issue but also improving the health of my skin at the same time.
Liz Holgate
Liz Holgate
08:35 14 Oct 19
I visited the Skin to Love Clinic today for my fourth and final treatment of Sunekos today. The results have exceeded my expectations. My skin is plumper and lines are definitely diminished. I look younger, healthier and I’m definitely happier. As always the experience was second to none from the moment you walk through the front door, from the receptionist, to all the clinicians, who make you feel welcome and comfortable with their warmth and friendliness whilst still maintaining their professionalism, instilling the confidence needed when embarking on cosmetic treatments. Thank you to all the team! I can’t recommend this clinic enough! Rita x
Rita H
Rita H
06:26 17 Sep 19
I had a consultation today, the clinic is lovely and staff are very welcoming, I’m so happy with the information I was given, I’m quite excited to start using the products recommended for my skin type and see the change that occurs, it was so nice to actually have a in-depth conversation with someone that clearly knows what they are talking about, in the past Iv always made the mistake of trusting a beautician and trying treatments that are not suited to my skin.. yes they are great at some things they do but they are not trained enough to offer the advice and treatment that has been offered to me at the skin to love clinic... it’s also great to see the breakdown of all the skin complaints on the computer as it helps to point out the main issues, i can’t wait to start treatment in the very near future, fingers crossed onwards and upwards... thanks for the help today
Charlotte Harris
Charlotte Harris
13:28 03 Sep 19
The Ice Soprano laser treatment is actually bearable. In fact, I hardly felt much! I was in for just over 2 hours and I was nervous but honestly it was a breeze. I had previously had 4 treatments of laser hair removal years ago (somewhere else and not the soprano ice) and it was so painful, but this wasn't at all! Today was my first session, I have 7 more to go and now I'm not worried about that :)
Etoile Marley
Etoile Marley
16:34 02 Aug 19
All the staff are lovely & really knowledgable. Clinic is a nice environment, very clean & comfortable. Charlotte put me at ease throughout the treatment & the whole experience was very positive. Definitely recommend
Andrea Davies
Andrea Davies
20:23 11 Jul 19
My visit today was excellent! and very relaxed. Treatment was explained and shown by jayne in a professional and friendly manner. Thank you to all the team at the skin clinic.
Kaz M
Kaz M
17:19 14 Jun 19
A huge thank you to Jane Lewis at The Skin to Love Clinic for my wonderful treatment today (dermal fillers in my cheeks and lower face). I am in my mid 40’s and was really starting to notice that the area around my mouth and jowls was looking rather droopy and saggy. I am also getting married in a few weeks and was in need of some gentle rejuvenation. Jane gave me fillers in my cheeks to lift up the lines and then gently filled the area around my nose to mouth lines, chin and jaw. What a skilled nurse she is, she was extremely gentle and very reassuring, explaining everything step by step. It didn’t hurt at all, and all I could feel was a tiny scratch when the needle first goes in, but that was it. The results are amazing, instantly I can see that my saggy lower face has lifted, the lines are smoother and I have a little more subtle volume in my cheeks. No bruises or red marks. In fact, no-one would know, I just look better and refreshed, a few years taken off of me in time for my wedding. I am over the moon, thank you so much Jane and her fabulous clinic manager Kerri. I will definitely be back 😊.
Pam Underdown
Pam Underdown
18:14 12 Jun 19
I made the mistake of buying a product called Eyesential; an under eye enhancer which temporarily erases puffiness, fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles in minutes and lasts for up to 8 hours. I used this product for a period of 7 years. During this time, the skin under and around my eyes became thinner, reddened, chronically dry and intensely wrinkled. I thought there was nothing I could do and would be left like this. I felt so depressed. Then one day when I was in The Skin to Love Clinic having treatment for Laser Hair Removal; I was informed about Thermage for the very first time. I now have this procedure done yearly. Jane has brought my skin back to its original state and more. My confidence has come back and I feel a so much happier. This treatment really works!
Bernadette Mc Donnell
Bernadette Mc Donnell
12:51 03 Jun 19
The Skin to Love clinic is the most special clinic in that it offers a personal, comfortable and reassuring service. I have had various treatments and I always love the attention to detail and the way I am made to feel. It really is a very special place and the ladies are extremely knowledgeable and experts, I trust them with everything. My skin and my confidence is thanks to the wonderful team that make Skin to Love! Stacey Turner
Stacey Turner
Stacey Turner
12:34 21 May 19
The Skin to Love clinic is the most special clinic in that it offers a personal, comfortable and reassuring service. I have had various treatments and I always love the attention to detail and the way I am made to feel. It really is a very special place and the ladies are extremely knowledgeable and experts, I trust them with everything. My skin and my confidence is thanks to the wonderful team that make Skin to Love! Stacey Turner
Stacey Turner
Stacey Turner
12:34 21 May 19
I made the mistake of buying a product called Eyesential; an under eye enhancer which temporarily erases puffiness, fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles in minutes and lasts for up to 8 hours. I used this product for a period of 7 years. During this time, the skin under and around my eyes became thinner, reddened, chronically dry and intensely wrinkled. I thought there was nothing I could do and would be left like this. I felt so depressed. Then one day when I was in The Skin to Love Clinic having treatment for Laser Hair Removal; I was informed about Thermage for the very first time. I now have this procedure done yearly. Jane has brought my skin back to its original state and more. My confidence has come back and I feel a so much happier. This treatment really works!
Bernadette Mc Donnell
Bernadette Mc Donnell
06:25 21 May 19
I made the mistake of buying a product called Eyesential; an under eye enhancer which temporarily erases puffiness, fine lines, dark circles and wrinkles in minutes and lasts for up to 8 hours. I used this product for a period of 7 years. During this time, the skin under and around my eyes became thinner, reddened, chronically dry and intensely wrinkled. I thought there was nothing I could do and would be left like this. I felt so depressed. Then one day when I was in The Skin to Love Clinic having treatment for Laser Hair Removal; was informed about Thermage for the very first time. I now have this procedure done yearly. Jane has brought my skin back to its original state and more. My confidence has come back and I feel a so much happier. This treatment really works!
Bernadette Mc Donnell
Bernadette Mc Donnell
12:39 20 May 19
I went to The Skin To Love Clinic for a consultation today with regard to gaining treatment advice for the skin on my stomach after having three children. I did my research and after travelling for over an hour I met with Jane. I could not have asked for a warmer welcome from Jane and her team. She instantly put me at ease with her knowledge and understanding of the treatments that are provided at her clinic. She gave me a thorough run down of what she thought would be best for me and why. From the moment I arrived to my departure, I found the staff and environment to be extremely professional yet inviting. I am looking forward to going back and having my treatments.Having now been back to the Clinic to see Jane for the third time today and I stand by what I have said above. Jane is outstanding in her knowledge of treatments and explains them thoroughly. An outstanding setting which I am so pleased I have found and one that I would highly recommend.
Suzie
Suzie
18:17 16 May 19
I've had many treatments at this clinic which I must say the results have been above my expectations. I'm now enjoying a course of Byoniks- love the way my skin feels and looks after. Im not surprised they have won so many awards. Keep up the good work ladies.
Tj
Tj
12:45 19 Apr 19
I went to The Skin To Love Clinic for a consultation today with regard to gaining treatment advice for the skin on my stomach after having three children. I did my research and after travelling for over an hour I met with Jane. I could not have asked for a warmer welcome from Jane and her team. She instantly put me at ease with her knowledge and understanding of the treatments that are provided at her clinic. She gave me a thorough run down of what she thought would be best for me and why. From the moment I arrived to my departure, I found the staff and environment to be extremely professional yet inviting. I am looking forward to going back and having my treatments.
Suzie
Suzie
16:28 27 Mar 19
I had another memorable day at the Skin-To-Love Clinic in St. Albans on Tuesday 26 March 2019. The founder and her staff including the Skin Expert are always polite, respectful and approachable, which in my opinion is second to none in the industry. I do enjoy making the journey from London to see Sharon, the Skin Expert at the Clinic. I am happy the treatment has worked and I will be submitting a full review of my Obagi skin care regime, shortly.
Cecilia Kadiri
Cecilia Kadiri
15:20 27 Mar 19
Amazing friendly, informative and supportive service. Always a pleasure.
natalie aston
natalie aston
18:13 26 Mar 19
Always a joy at skin to love, professional service which definitely shows results, calming, relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff, what more could you ask for??!!!
Jody Lloyd
Jody Lloyd
20:27 23 Mar 19
I have been back to the clinic for 2 treatments, one with Jane and the other with Natalia who are both extremely professional and brilliant at what they do, as is all the team. One treatment was new and I was a little apprehensive about it, but Jane make we feel totally at easy and explained what was happening each step of the way. I am really happy with the results and highly recommend them as experts in their field
Maureen Thorlin
Maureen Thorlin
10:07 23 Feb 19
Fantastic clinic. Lovely warm and welcoming team who really are experts in their field. My skin has never looked better! I highly recommend.
Hayley Naunton
Hayley Naunton
22:24 30 Jan 19
I love the place and the treatment, really happy with the results. Laura is really nice and professional.
Noelia Sanchez
Noelia Sanchez
19:06 29 Dec 18
Fantastic clinic. Lovely warm and welcoming team who really are experts in their field. My skin has never looked better! I highly recommend.
Hayley Naunton
Hayley Naunton
14:19 29 Dec 18
Very pleased with service advise and support before, during and after my procedure . Thank you Jane
Beth Mayhew
Beth Mayhew
15:31 15 Dec 18
Extremely professional and attentive staff! I highly recommend the Skin to Love Clinic! Jane the therapist made me feel like a princess! Her approach and treatment are commendable! Thank you all and have a great Christmas, Margarita
margarita germanos
margarita germanos
23:03 14 Dec 18
I tried the new Byonik treatment which was really good. It was the first session so wasn't expecting any big changes to my skin but it looked lovely and fresh afterwards and it was very relaxing. To see better results I think I would need to have another 2-3 sessions. The staff are very professional, very skilled and knowledgeable about all the treatments available and I trust them with my skin. MT
Maureen Thorlin
Maureen Thorlin
12:56 09 Dec 18
Absolutely delighted every time i visit . A faultless professional , service and such a lovely team of ladies
Zoe Harper
Zoe Harper
12:19 02 Dec 18
Very quick procedure, in great location with very knowledgeable dermatologist Dr. Sharon Crichlow. Very happy with the result.
Christopher Keenan
Christopher Keenan
20:55 06 Nov 18
The team is super awesome .. they know what they are talking about, treat you like a friend and do the best. Love it.
kritysharma sharma
kritysharma sharma
17:20 25 Oct 18
The welcome and ambiance of The Skin to Love Clinic was perfect.Jane has a rare skill - she listens! She manages to combine her insight with professionalism , empathy and sound advice. The wealth of her experience and knowledge is obvious and there was no pressure to commit to any treatments - in fact her advice was to go away and think about the options.I feel I have just discovered a real gem of a place and a very special practitioner!
Linda F
Linda F
16:57 22 Oct 18
No false promises, professional and kind staff.I was made to feel completely relaxed, would highly recommend.I just wish I had sought my treatment earlier.
beccy ewen
beccy ewen
14:42 13 Oct 18
I have been a client for the last 4 years and can honestly say that my skin looks better and younger now - love the skin scanner technology to get an objective view. I have done courses of clear and brilliant and am now doing Regenlite course - getting Jane’s expert advise is great and as a result I am actually using less products than before. Everyone at the clinic is super welcoming/friendly - would highly recommend clinic!Brigitte
B vB
B vB
12:51 24 Aug 18
Fantastic clinic. Lovely warm and welcoming team who really are experts in their field. My skin has never looked better! I highly recommend.
Hayley Naunton
Hayley Naunton
20:30 22 Aug 18