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Guide to Mole and Skin Tag Removal in Singapore

Guide to Mole and Skin Tag Removal in Singapore

Most of us develop moles or skin tags on our face, neck, and body. The majority of these skin lesions are harmless and do not become cancerous. Mole removal and skin tag removal are common procedures in clinics, with various treatment options available depending on several factors. Bay Aesthetics Clinic and Medispa performs a high volume of mole and skin tag removal procedures – a comprehensive choice of treatment methods is available, and the team is experienced in achieving optimal outcomes.

mole removal singapore
Mole and skin tag removal is often done for aesthetic reasons.

What are the reasons for mole or skin tag removal?

Moles and skin tags are usually benign and harmless. However, in rare instances, some moles may develop into skin cancer. Other than medical purposes, the removal of moles and skin tags is often due to various reasons.

Reasons for mole or skin tag removal: “The 3 Ds”

  1. Diagnosis: removing a skin lesion surgically for lab testing to determine if it is benign or cancerous. This is recommended for larger lesions, those with suspicious characteristics or red flags, and patients with a high risk of skin cancer.
  2. Discomfort: the skin lesion may cause irritation, get stuck in clothes, or interfere with shaving.
  3. Don’t like it: some moles and skin tags may appear unsightly, so removal is solely for cosmetic reasons.

skin cancer signs
Moles with certain characteristics such as asymmetry, uneven border or edges, changing size and colour.

Make an appointment with Bay Aesthetics Clinic and Medispa for mole or skin tag removal. We will help you identify, diagnose, and remove your skin lesions and guide you through the healing process.

What is the most common benign skin lesion?

There are many types of benign skin lesions, and they are distinguished and characterised by their appearance, location, and histology. Some common benign skin lesions include:

  • Moles: moles are abnormal collections of melanocytes (pigment cells) in the skin. They develop in childhood or young adulthood and gradually increase in size. Moles can occur anywhere on the body and are typically dark-coloured, small (<5mm), and may be flat or raised.
  • Skin tags: skin tags are skin-coloured or brownish growths, often developing on the neck, underarms, groin, and eyelids.
  • Seborrhoeic keratosis: ​​seborrhoeic keratosis are brownish raised lesions often seen with age and sun exposure. They are commonly located on the face and neck.
  • Milia: milia, also known as milk seeds, are small <1mm lesions often found around the eye and appear pearly white due to a build-up of keratin.
  • Warts: warts are irregular lesions found anywhere on the body and may reproduce and cause irritation. Warts usually occur due to a virus, and these lesions can be contagious.

          benign skin growths
          Benign skin lesions are typically harmless and not cancerous.

          What are the 4 most common skin cancers?

          • Basal cell carcinoma: basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, arising from the basal cells of the skin. Basal cell carcinoma risk factors include chronic sun or UV exposure and age. This cancer appears as a slow-growing skin lump that may be skin coloured, fleshy, or pigmented. There may be ulceration and pain in larger tumours.
          • Squamous cell carcinoma: squamous cell carcinoma usually appears as an irregular, ulcerated lump that may be painful. It is the second most common skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma risk factors include advanced age and chronic or UV sun exposure. Untreated, the cancer can spread to nearby lymph nodes.
          • Merkel cell cancer: Merkel cell cancer is an aggressive and rare form of skin cancer that spreads quickly. It typically occurs in the head and neck region and is also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin. Merkel cell carcinoma risk factors include chronic sun or UV exposure, ageing, and immunosuppression.
          • Melanoma: melanoma arises from the melanocytes (pigment cells of the skin); this cancer is more common among Caucasians and less common among Asians. Melanoma risk factors include chronic sun or UV exposure and a family history of melanoma. This cancer can spread anywhere in the body via the bloodstream and to the nearby lymph nodes.

                What does skin cancer look like?

                Recognising skin cancer revolves around the following characteristics: asymmetry, uneven border, different or changing colour, larger or growing size, and evolving appearance.

                ABCDE skin cancer
                Moles are monitored using the ABCDE characteristics to identify if they are malignant or benign.

                Although the rate of melanoma in Singapore is relatively low (approximately 0.3-0.5 per 100,000 persons), it is still vital for you to monitor your moles and get them checked periodically. Non-melanoma skin cancer has seen a significant increase in Singapore, with it being the 6th most common cancer for Singaporean men and the 7th most common cancer for Singaporean women. At Bay Aesthetics Clinic and Medispa, our doctors are experienced in identifying, diagnosing and removing suspicious moles or skin tags.

                How are moles and skin tags removed in Singapore?

                Both moles and skin tags can be removed in various ways, depending on their location and size. Ways in which moles or skin tags are removed include:

                • Electrocautery removal: smaller moles/skin tags (<3mm) can be removed using electrocautery, which is a medical device that ablates the mole/skin tag.
                • Surgical excision with stitching: medium to larger moles (>3mm) or skin tags can be surgically removed, and the wound stitched up with sutures, which are removed 5-7 days later. The risk of incomplete removal and recurrence is much lower with surgical excision. The removed skin lesion can be sent to the lab for testing so that an accurate diagnosis of the lesion can be achieved. In the unlikely event that the skin lesion is cancerous, further treatment will need to be arranged.

                  electrocauterisation mole
                  Electrocautery can be used to remove small moles.

                  What are the risks of mole and skin tag removal?

                  Since moles and skin tags are typically benign, one may wonder if removing them is necessary. And is it safe to remove moles or skin tags? Like most procedures, mole and skin tag removal has some risks, albeit very rare. The risks of mole and skin tag removal are:

                  • Scarring: all mole and skin tag removal procedures will leave a small scar. With appropriate wound care, skin care, laser treatment and UV avoidance, the wound should heal well and leave an imperceptible scar. Generally, the scars from surgical excision and stitching tend to be smaller and more subtle. Rarely, an unsightly hypertrophic or keloid scar may develop after a mole removal procedure, requiring further treatment.
                  • Hyperpigmentation: in Asian skin types, it is very common to encounter post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) after a mole removal procedure. With creams and lasers, hyperpigmentation typically improves after 2-3 months.
                  • Recurrence: there is a 5-10% risk of incomplete removal and recurrence of the skin lesion, which may require a second procedure. Generally, moles treated with surgical excision are less likely to recur than those treated with electrocautery or laser ablation.

                      How much is mole or skin tag removal in Singapore?

                      • Single small (<3mm) mole removal on the body with electrocautery $88
                      • Single small (<3mm) mole removal on face/neck with electrocautery $180
                      • Multiple Small (<3mm) Moles (up to 5, any area) removal with electrocautery $600
                      • Multiple Small (<3mm) Moles (6-10, any area )removal with electrocautery $1000
                      • Big Mole (3mm above, body) removal with electrocautery and stitching $500
                      • Big Mole (3mm above, face and neck) removal with electrocautery and stitching $800
                      • Big Mole (>3mm, Cosmetically significant area: Eyelid/ Nose/ Lips) removal with Electrocautery and stitching $1200
                      • Histology charges not included (~$250-400 depending on number of samples)

                                    Mole or skin tag removal at Bay Aesthetics Clinic

                                    Patients interested in mole or skin tag removal at Bay Aesthetics Clinic and Medispa will undergo a medical examination with clinical photography to assess the features of the skin lesion, and the treatment plan will be discussed. After removing the skin lesion, the scar will be taken care of with skincare and lasers to achieve an optimal cosmetic outcome.

                                    Dr Bernard Tan and Dr Hoe Ying Min have over 20 years of combined experience and postgraduate surgical training in Facial Plastic Surgery and have performed a high volume of mole and skin tag removal procedures. As Aesthetic Doctors, they are competent at removing skin lesions and have the expertise to achieve an optimal cosmetic outcome.

                                    The recurrence or regrowth of skin lesions occurs infrequently (~5-10% of cases), and although it is a very rare occurrence, it is usually a source of disappointment and inconvenience. Therefore, at Bay Aesthetics Clinic and Medispa, any skin lesion that recurs within 3 months of the original procedure will be treated again gratis.

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