A mole, or nevus, is a benign (non-cancerous) growth of pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. These cells make up the substance called melanin, which gives skin its colour. Moles are normal and can grow anytime, including later in life. While some people love their moles as a distinct characteristic, others find their moles undesirable. When these pigmented growths develop in certain areas that make them more noticeable, patients often seek out mole removal in Vancouver.

Although most moles are harmless, they can be a source of self-consciousness for some, especially if they appear on the face. Luckily, there are various treatment options available that can not only remove the mole but rejuvenate the skin as well.


Types of Moles

There are several types of moles someone can develop:

  • Congenital moles: Congenital moles are birthmarks that affect approximately 1 percent of newborn babies. These moles have a higher risk of becoming malignant (cancerous) in adulthood, so many adults choose to remove them.
  • Common moles: Also known as acquired moles, these moles can grow at any time and can appear anywhere on the body. It is normal for an adult to have between 10 to 40 moles. They are one colour, unchanging, and a quarter inch or smaller in diameter.
  • Atypical moles: Atypical moles typically grow on the truck, head, neck, or scalp. These moles are also known as dysplastic nevi, and they can be irregularly shaped, have mixed colours, and have a pebble-like texture. Many atypical moles can be larger than 6 millimetres and are more common among light-skinned people who have a history of prolonged sun exposure.

Although most moles do not cause skin cancer, they can be dangerous if they become malignant. Seeking medical treatment when you notice any changes to a mole’s appearance is the best course of action.


What Causes Moles to Appear?

Many adults continue to develop moles as they age, but why they appear is less understood. New moles in adulthood can be non-cancerous or cancerous, and while melanoma causes are well-studied, little research proves why benign moles develop.

It is important to remember that most moles are likely benign, and some changes can be a natural part of aging. A dermatologist is the best person to consult with; they can assess your mole, remove it if needed, and have it tested for skin cancer if there are any concerning signs.

Common reasons you may have a new mole include:

  • Increasing age
  • Fair skin and light or red hair
  • Family history of atypical moles
  • Response to medications that suppress your immune system
  • Response to other medications, such as some antibiotics, hormones, or antidepressants
  • Genetic mutations
  • Sunburn, sun exposure, or tanning bed use

While some people are genetically more likely to develop moles, this does not mean they are necessarily more likely to get cancer. However, it is important to consult with a dermatologist if you notice new mole growth or sudden changes to existing nevi. This can protect your health and put your mind at ease.


Do You Think Your Mole is a Sign of Something Serious?

Moles are often a common concern among adults. They may fear that a new mole means they have skin cancer, but this is not the majority of cases. However, it is important to routinely check new and existing moles for any changes. Adults who have over 50 moles, a lot of sun exposure, a history of sunburns, and large and unusual moles are more likely to have a malignant lesion. Annual screenings and mole mapping can help you keep track of mole growth over time and take action if concerns arise.

Luckily, atypical moles come with many warning signs that can help you catch skin cancer early. These include changes in colour, size, or shape, irregular borders or uneven edges, multiple colours, and an increase in size (over 6 millimetres in diameter).

Changes to any mole’s appearance or new symptoms, like itching, bleeding, or pain, are also a good reason to seek medical advice. Speak with a dermatologist as soon as you can for a mole screening and removal if necessary.


Mole Removal in Vancouver

Many people prefer the aesthetic look of smooth, unblemished skin. The appearance of moles can cause embarrassment, low self-esteem and stress in social situations. Whether your mole is normal or atypical, there are removal options available to make your skin clear again.

Depending on the type of mole you have, your dermatologist will likely recommend either surgical excision or laser mole removal. Speak to a specialist today to find the best treatment for you.

*The Medical Services Plan of BC may not cover treatments for medical conditions if they’re considered to be elective and/or cosmetic. Laser mole removal can take less than 30 minutes, and it is a great treatment for instant results. We can also target multiple moles in a single session.


Types of Elective Mole Removal

Brown Spot & Pigment Removal

Through laser therapy or intense pulsed light (IPL) photorejuvenation, we can give your skin a more even tone. This can help reduce the appearance of flat moles and give you a clearer complexion.

IPL mole removal is fast and does not have many side effects. Treatment can cause mild to moderate discomfort, but a numbing cream can be applied to the skin prior to treatment. Each session takes between 20-30 minutes, depending on the size and location of the treatment site.

Fraxel Laser

The Fraxel laser is a powerful yet gentle treatment that can rejuvenate damaged skin, correct uneven skin tone, treat wrinkles, and more. Narrow beams of laser energy heat the deep layer of the skin, which promotes the development of collagen. Older, damaged layers of skin are exfoliated and replaced by newer, healthier skin with a more even complexion.

Fraxel sessions take 15-25 minutes depending on the patient, but you should plan for at least an hour in total to allow the numbing cream to take effect before your treatment.

Laser Scar Removal

Laser scar removal is highly effective in a wide range of applications, including acne scar removal, tattoo removal, and laser mole removal. Light energy breaks down melanocytes in the mole, which makes it completely disappear after the procedure. The mole will be reduced to a small red mark that scabs and eventually falls off. The pink spot left behind will gradually fade over time.

Laser mole removal can take less than 30 minutes, and it is a great treatment for instant results. We can also target multiple moles in a single session.


Before And After

Explore our gallery of before-and-after images to see how our mole removal treatments can benefit your skin and confidence.

Mole Removal Treatment Before and After

Request a Consultation

If you have concerns about a raised mole or mole’s appearance, we are here to help. Our team can also provide personalized suggestions for mole removal to help you enhance the aesthetics of your skin if you desire a clearer, more even complexion.

Please contact the team at Pacific Derm in Vancouver to arrange a consultation appointment with one of our dermatologists.