What are mole removal pens and do they work?


When you start to research mole removal techniques you may come across a number of devices that can be used at home.  Mole removal pens come up quite frequently in conversation in our clinics. These are marketed as ‘convenient and practical…safe and reliable’ and they work by treating the mole with a blast of heat or caustic substance.  The idea is that this causes a scab which eventually falls off. 


We would not recommend using mole removal pens for a number of reasons.  


  • Firstly, they are not always reliable whereas surgical mole removal ensures the mole is fully removed – both the part you can see and the part you can’t.  


  • Secondly, they can cause burning and scarring.  As one commentator puts it, mole removal pens are essentially ‘soldering irons’.


  • And thirdly, they do not help you distinguish between cancerous and benign moles.  Treating moles yourself in this way means you deal with only the surface of the spot.  If the mole is cancerous it will continue to grow underneath the skin and eventually resurface.  


As Melanoma UK points out: “Imagine if your Dermatologist removed a mole and placed it in the bin rather than sending it to pathology for it to be analysed.  As a patient, that type of clinical behaviour would be unacceptable for you but it is akin to what the selling point of these materials for mole destruction purport, i.e. do not worry about these ‘troublesome’ lesions just remove them yourself, blindly!


“There is a risk that you might remove, inadvertently, a melanoma or dysplastic naevus in this way. This will distort the clinical picture significantly were the melanoma to manifest as a recurrence for the first time.”


Whilst it can be tempting to look at quick, cheap and easy ways to removed moles and skin tags, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of proper medical advice and treatment.


Our experienced consultant plastic surgeons are available to provide information and advice about any aspect of mole removal.  Not only will we ensure your moles are removed fully and safely, we will also test for cancer, where appropriate, to give you complete peace of mind.


Moles and skin tags can be removed by our consultant plastic surgeons using a local anaesthetic which numbs the area to be treated.  The mole and a small margin of surrounding skin is then removed using a scalpel following the outline of the mole as closely as possible.


It’s a relatively straight-forward procedure, often there won’t even be a need for stitches, and you can leave the hospital with just a light dressing.  You’ll then be invited back for a follow-up appointment 7 – 10 days after treatment to ensure that the healing is progressing as planned.


For further information about our mole and skin lesion removal services, please get in touch or book an initial consultation with one of our specialists.

If you would like to learn more about this procedure or are interested in a consultation, fill out the form below or call us on 0800 015 0622