Moles (and removing moles)


Moles are lumps or bumps in the skin. There are many types of mole and people can have more than one type.

Most people have moles and although some start in childhood, many seem to grow later in life. Some moles are light; others are dark. Some stay the same size; others grow.

The majority of moles are benign or non-malignant (not harmful). If a mole has changed (i.e. increased or decreased in size, has an irregular outline, changed colour, itches or has started to bleed), you should seek advice from your GP.


Removing moles and lumps

The NHS does not fund removal of benign (not harmful) swellings including moles, papillomas (small warty growths, often on the knees or underarms), small fatty lumps (lipomas) or cysts (sebaceous cysts) for cosmetic reasons.

However, you may wish to self-fund removal of a lump. If appropriate, surgery can be performed as a day-case at the Nuffield Hospital in Exeter or Taunton. Costs vary, depending on the specific procedure and the number of moles to be removed. Moles are usually surgically removed. Some skin lesions are suitable for curettage (a type of superficial scraping) and should not need any stitches.


The operation and post-op information

Some patients will need to come in around 40 minutes before the procedure to have some anaesthetic cream applied to the mole to reduce the sting from the needle used to inject the local anaesthetic. 

You can eat and drink normally before the operation and should be able to drive home after surgery. Most patients need to keep the wound dry for around 48 hours, before taking a light shower or bath. You will usually be seen five to seven days after your procedure to check the wound and remove any stitches.

You will also be seen at six weeks to check the wound area is healing well.

The cost of all the follow up appointments are included in the single fixed package price given to you at your initial consultation.

Some patients may be suitable for a one stop ‘See and Treat‘ appointment where both the consultation and the procedure take place at the same time. Prof Devaraj will decide if this is the most appropriate option for you.