With over 20 years’ experience, we offer both surgical and laser mole removal in Surrey (near Vancouver). That includes skin tags, birthmarks, beauty marks and other pigmented or red spots on your body. We also treat patients from around the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, including from Delta, Langley, White Rock, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster, Abbotsford and beyond.
For more information on flat, hyperpigmented birthmarks and brown spots, see this page.
For more information on red spots and birthmarks, see this page.
For information on sun damage (which can include spots that look like moles), see this page.
What mole removal options do you offer at your Surrey skin clinic?
We offer three main types of skin tag and mole removal treatments in Surrey. These are:
Laser mole removal
Typically using our Erbium YAG (Er:YAG) laser, we are able to treat benign, flat or raised moles with this technology. Laser mole removal works with intense heat from light wavelengths to destroy pigmented cells in your skin – the ones that are creating the mole.
The advantage with this solution is that it is a non-surgical way to get rid of moles. It causes no blood loss either, since the laser constrains blood vessels, while it does its work. No sutures or stitches are required with this method, either.
After the laser treatment, your mole will form a red scab, and then fall off in a few weeks. Afterwards, your body should continue to heal any redness that remains.
Laser mole or skin tag removal may require more than one session to get rid of the mole completely. Typically, we see them go away within 1 to 2 treatments, but everyone can be different.
Electrosurgical mole removal
Using a medical instrument called a Hyfrecator, a doctor can deliver low currents of energy through an electrode to your skin. This essentially burns off the mole or skin tag cells. This process is sometimes called fulguration, cauterisation or electrocautery.
Electrosurgery of a mole or skin tag does not typically bleed, and is very quick.
Surgical mole removal
Using a variety of scalpels or medical scissors, our doctor can cut out a mole from the skin. Or, depending on the need, we can perform a shallow procedure called “shave excision,” in combination with electrosurgery.
If your mole is large, we may need to cut fairly deep to be able to remove all the cells composing it. We will also need to cut a little bit of skin around the mole, to ensure we have extracted all of it. This type of surgery can require cutting down to the fat layer of the skin.
After the mole surgery is complete, a doctor will seal the wound with stitches. You will form a scab, which will heal, and fade over time.
What types of moles can you treat?
We do not treat cases of giant pigmented nevi on the skin, such as those that cover large areas of the body. That said, we can treat mongolian blue spots on adults, using other methods not listed on this page.
Other than that, we treat almost all benign moles and skin tags of any colour, whether raised or flat. This includes brown or dark moles such as:
- Common moles (a.k.a conventional mole – a defined edge, dome-shaped mole that is 5mm across, or smaller)
- Dysplastic nevi (an irregular-shaped mole that can be more than 5 mm across)
- Blue nevi (a dark mole deeper in the skin layer)
- Spitz nevi (a.k.a. pigmented spindle cell nevus)
- Seborrheic keratoses
- Lentigo malignas, solar lentigines, liver spots (or other sun damage moles)
Plus red, pink or skin-coloured moles such as:
- Cherry angiomas (a.k.a. Campbell De Morgan spots, senile angiomas, and cherry hemangiomas)
- Intradermal nevi
- Haemangiomas (a.k.a red birthmarks, strawberry naevi)
- Nevi flammeus (a.k.a. port-wine stains)
- Skin tags (not actually moles, but they are treated the same way)
Please note that moles which are typically brown can appear in red or pink tones. And likewise, moles that are commonly red can appear in brown, grey or blue tones. Also, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can produce a growth on the skin that looks like a skin-coloured mole, but is actually a type of wart, which we can also remove.
How are moles formed on the body and how can I prevent them?
All moles are medically known as melanocytic nevi (singular: nevus). Colloquially, they are referred to as moles, birthmarks or beauty marks. However, the term “birthmarks” can also refer to vascular red marks, as well as pigment deformities.
When moles are present from birth, they are called “congenital moles,” or “congenital nevus.” When they develop later in life (usually before age 40), they are called “acquired moles,” or “acquired nevus.”
The term “melanocytic” means that the pigments found in your mole come from your skin’s melanocytes, which produce melanin (i.e. pigment).
Moles are the result of overactive melanocytes in your skin. We describe how melanocytes work on our page about hyperpigmentation, which we encourage you to read, here. The concept is almost the same as when a person forms brown, flat marks on the skin. However, pigmentation that results in freckles, port wine stains or melasma is not nearly as advanced as melanocyte clusters that have formed into moles.
Adults can have between 10 and 40 harmless moles on their body. Some people are simply born with a condition that makes them prone to developing moles.
When there are many, many brown spots on the skin, a person can have dysplastic nevus syndrome, also known as atypical multiple mole-melanoma (FAMMM) syndrome. Dysplastic nevi (irregular-shaped moles) are more likely to become skin cancer than other types of moles. If you have them, you should be checked by a doctor regularly.
UV exposure (such as from the sun, or tanning beds) can also put you at risk for moles. These can fall under categorizations of sun damage, which we explain in detail, here. When moles are from sun damage, they are typically called “lentigo,” or “lentigines.” If you have a pre-existing tendency to form moles, you may be at greater risk of developing melanoma (i.e. skin cancer) from UV exposure. You should be extra careful about being in the sun, and you should not tan.
When moles turn into cancer, they can become squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Sometimes, moles can go away on their own. Most of the time, this is not an issue. However, when a cancerous mole disappears, there is cause for concern. It can indicate the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. For that reason, you should regularly be checked for suspicious moles.
The best way to prevent moles – whether or not you are genetically predisposed to them – is to stay out of the sun, and use a strong, broad-spectrum sunscreen (even on cloudy days). This ‘rule’ is especially important between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Never use tanning beds, either.
Does mole removal hurt?
Whether or not your mole removal treatment will be painful can depend on its type and size. When the mole is large, and a doctor predicts that the treatment will hurt, we will use an injectable, local anaesthetic in that area. In that case, you shouldn’t feel much during the process.
If we opt not to use the anaesthetic, you may feel a slight burning or stinging sensation.
After your mole removal treatment, we will advise you on aftercare routines, to prevent infection or scarring.
Will I have a scar after mole removal?
Any leftover marks from our Surrey mole removal treatments can depend on the size of the mole and the instrument used to treat it.
We do sell scar gel in alongside our mole solutions. This product can minimize the scarring that can happen with this type of treatment.
Laser mole removal has the least chance of leaving behind any scars. This is because it does not cut your skin open during the procedure. At most, it may leave a red mark. Though, this heals over time. It can also be treated with other cosmetic solutions at our clinic.
Surgical and hyfrecator mole removal can create a pale, faint scar. This scar is usually small, and hard to notice. It also fades over time, in most cases.
In the end, how well a scar heals after mole removal can depend on your own body’s biology. Each case can be different. Some people are simply more prone to scarring than others, especially with the formation of keloids or hypertrophic scars. We do have solutions for raised scars at our clinic, should you wish for them.
Please note that when it comes to cancerous or precancerous growths on your skin, not opting for removal can be much, much worse than living with a scar. You should not let this deter you from getting mole removal, if you need it.
For cosmetic cases of benign moles, the choice of risking a scar over a mole will be entirely up to you.
Will my mole come back after being removed?
No single mole removal treatment can guarantee a mole won’t grow back, or that you won’t form new moles.
That said, we try to cut around the mole a little bit, to ensure we are taking away most of the affected cells (melanocytes) that are reproducing melanin rapidly. If any remain, which can be impossible to detect, this can cause your mole to reappear.
This is the case with all mole removal treatments and providers out there.
What other options are out there for mole removal?
Some doctor’s offices perform cryosurgery (nitrogen freezing) on skin tags and moles. We do not do this at our cosmetic clinic (since we have other tools to achieve the same effect).
Other than freezing, and the solutions we’ve listed, there is nothing else to be done in the way of mole removal treatments.
Some may advertise creams to heal moles, or tattoos to cover them up. We would advise against doing this without the approval of a doctor.
In the case of hyperpigmentation, it is true that some skin brightening creams can be used, whether in a cosmeceutical or a prescription. However, hyperpigmentation spots are not technically the same as moles. So, these creams won’t work the same way on them either. So-called skin bleaching products should still be used with a doctor’s advice.
It is very dangerous to try to remove moles by yourself. Not only can you risk infection, you can also miss serious cases of cancerous growth, which can become harder to detect later. Please do not attempt to do this.
How can I know if my mole is dangerous?
Most moles are completely harmless.
However, in medicine, we look for a handful of attributes on moles to distinguish between the benign and malignant (i.e. cancerous) ones. When any abnormalities on a mole are identified, a doctor may order a biopsy, to get a conclusive result on the diagnosis.
You should see a doctor right away if your mole shows characteristics of:
- Irregular shape (asymmetry).
- undefined outer edges (no clear borders).
- Deep darkness or varied colours, especially black or red tones.
- Diametre of 5 millimetres or more.
- Changing shape, height, circumference, colour, behaviour (oozing, bleeding, itching) or otherwise.
To help patients identify dangerous moles, the medical community often makes the above list easy to remember with the mnemonic device of:
Those letters stand for: “Asymmetry, Borders, Colour, Diametre, Evolving.”
You should be checking your entire body regularly for new moles, and for the status of existing moles. Don’t forget your scalp, behind your ears and the palms of feet – everywhere. That goes especially if you have a family history of melanoma, or grow many moles frequently (e.g. more than 5 dysplastic nevi on your whole body, including areas not exposed to the sun, like the buttocks).
Please see a doctor right away if you think your mole is developing any of the above features, even if you’re not completely sure.
If you visit our clinic for cosmetic mole removal, and at that time we determine your mole may be melanoma, or a precursor to it, we will initiate a biopsy before performing treatments on you. If our assumption turns out to be correct, we will ask you to see your family doctor or use our own MSP-covered clinic for further treatment.
What is the price of mole removal treatment in Surrey?
The final price of your mole or skin tag removal at our Surrey clinic can depend on its size, type or the tools and aftercare required to get rid of it. We will need to see you in person, and examine the mole, to be able to give you a quote.
As a very general guideline (which can change), we can say that removing a single skin tag or mole starts at $250. We do give package pricing for multiple moles or skin tags in the same session. We also recommend purchasing scar gel and healing creams for home aftercare. We sell these at our clinic.
Please note that benign (i.e. non-cancerous) moles are considered a cosmetic issue, and are not covered by MSP in B.C., nor most private insurance carriers. If you have extended health, we encourage you to ask them if they will cover cosmetic mole removal.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.