Skip to main content
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Is having a mole removed painful?

Asked by Jessica, Tucson, Arizona

Open quote
Close quote

I have a small mole on the tip of my nose. Can I have a small mole removed? What is the recovery time? Is it painful?

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert answer

Thank you for your question. Moles are very common, with most people having at least one on their body; some people have 10 or more of these spots. I encourage you to consult with your physician about your own situation and the details of mole removal and recovery time. For information about moles in general, I consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Benabio, a dermatologist in San Diego and author of The Derm Blog, who shared the following:

"A mole, also known as a nevus, is a collection of pigmented cells (called melanocytes) in the skin. Moles are usually brown or red-brown but can be skin colored. A cancerous mole is called a melanoma.

Moles that are asymmetric, have irregular borders, have more than one color, or are larger than a pencil eraser are often biopsied to ensure that they are not skin cancer. Moles that appear normal can also be removed for cosmetic reasons. In most cases, the mole is removed then examined under a microscope to confirm that it is normal.

The removal of a mole is most often done by a biopsy. A physician will inject numbing medication, which can hurt a little, but only briefly. The mole can then be removed by cutting it off parallel with the skin surface, or by cutting it out beneath the skin and suturing the skin closed. The recovery time varies depending on both the removal method and the size of the mole; it generally ranges from 2-4 weeks."

For more information visit the American Academy of Dermatology's page on moles.

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
What are the potential problems with ovarian cysts?asked by: Asked by Jane Coles; Virginia
Why do I no longer need an antibiotic before teeth cleaning?asked by: Asked by Janet; Leeds
How frequently should a man urinate daily?asked by: Asked by Brian; Canada
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.