Whether it is for medical or cosmetic reasons, you can have moles, cysts, skin tags, or lipomas safely removed by our dermatology specialist nurse, Jan Birch, or our consultant dermatologist, Dr Andrew Winter using minor surgical procedures. We have the facilities to carry out minor surgery in clinic and with virtually no waiting times removal can be carried out quickly; such treatment is not routinely available via the NHS in all areas of the country.
Moles on the face and body, cysts on the face and back caused by acne, pilar cysts on the scalp, epidermoid or sebaceous cysts on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and around the genitals, skin tags on the neck, eyelids, in the groin, under the armpits, in skin folds, or under the breasts in women, and lipomas or fatty lumps.
Moles on the skin are very common and in general they are harmless, but may not be cosmetically pleasing, depending on their location and visibility. Moles are brown coloured spots that vary in shape, being round or oval with a smooth edge, sometimes raised and sometimes flat, feeing rough or smooth to the touch. They may have hairs growing from them and tend to be a darker colour on those with darker skin tones. Moles can be present from birth, or regularly develop during childhood and adolescence, with some disappearing and fading by themselves with age. Moles may darken in colour during pregnancy, alongside another skin condition known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ called melasma that causes increased brown patches or freckles on the face due to the over production of melanin or skin pigment cells whilst pregnant.
Moles can become of medical concern if they change shape (developing uneven edges), increase in size, or change colour (become mottled with different shades of brown), or become itchy, crusty, and irritated with frequent bleeding. Such changes may be signs of a skin cancer called melanoma. Sun exposure on a mole can increase the chances of it turning into a melanoma.
It is important to regularly check moles and if you have any concerns or wish to prevent moles becoming cancerous, removal may be a good option for you.
A cyst is a harmless lump under the skin that is usually filled with fluid, pus, or a keratin build up with the appearance of soft cheese. Cysts form when the normal process of shedding dead skin cells goes wrong and the cells stay under the skin forming a small sac into which they continue to secrete keratin, forming a pus-filled lump. Unlike boils or abscesses that are caused by an infection, cysts are not painful, but can be tender if pressed.
Cysts can vary in size and type, and usually grow slowly. They are common as a presentation with acne (cystic acne), as pilar cysts that form around hair follicles, usually on the scalp, and as epidermoid or sebaceous cysts found on the face and neck, the chest and shoulders, and the skin around the genitals.
It is important to identify the type of skin cyst and treat appropriately; do not be tempted to burst a cyst yourself as this can cause infection. Cysts that have been burst will come back again as the whole sac must be professionally removed to stop it from refilling again.
Skin tags are small growths of excess skin that hang off the skin as small ‘dangly’ protrusions, usually a few millimetres in size. They are commonly found in areas of friction upon the skin from underwear or jewellery, or where skin rubs together and chafes, so are often located around the neck, in the groin, under the armpits, or under the breasts in women. They can occur more if you are overweight and have folds of skin and become more common with age. Skin tags can also appear on eyelids.
In all cases, skin tags are harmless, and do not cause pain, but are often regarded as annoying if they catch on clothing or jewellery or affect your self-confidence if they are cosmetically unsightly; thankfully they are quick and simple to remove.
Skin tags have their own blood supply, thus, minor surgical removal is designed to interrupt and cut off the blood supply safely so they can be removed or allowed to wither and fall off naturally as a part of the healing process. You should not attempt to remove skin tags yourself as they can bleed heavily.
A lipoma is a collection of fatty tissue under the skin, that is usually soft and spongy to the touch, moving a little under the skin if pressed. Lipomas are harmless, although they may be cosmetically unsightly if they are visible, such as on the face, and could impact on day-to-day life depending on their location and size.
Lipomas vary in size from the equivalent of a pea to much larger lumps that can grow as big as a tennis ball if left untreated. They grow slowly and most people will seek medical attention before they get too large. Lipomas are not usually painful and occur in all areas of the body including the face, chest, arms, back, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks.
As most moles are harmless, they are regarded as a cosmetic concern, therefore, mole removal is not something you will find via a referral from your GP or via the National Health Service (NHS), and you will be advised to seek private treatment, which we can offer at Blemish Clinic. We can also help if you suspect that your mole may be pre-cancerous or a melanoma as we have in-house consultant dermatologists available for referral.
Cysts are not contagious, are harmless, and can occur at any time, although they are more common with acne sufferers. If a cyst becomes infected you may be prescribed antibiotics by your GP, but they will not be able to offer cyst removal through the NHS. You may find that you have multiple cysts that need removing, something we commonly do at the Blemish Clinic by draining the cyst and then removing the sac to prevent reoccurrence.
Skin tags are seen as a cosmetic concern because they have no medical impact, although they may affect you psychologically. Cosmetic procedures are not routinely available through the NHS; thus, your GP will advise you to seek private treatment for the removal of skin tags. This can be quickly performed at Blemish Clinic using cryotherapy or cautery.
Lipomas are regarded as harmless lumps, so again you will usually not be able to get treatment via primary care services on the NHS and will need to seek private treatment as offered at Blemish Clinic.
Minor surgical procedures refer to a number of dermatology procedures that are used to address the surgical removal of various diagnosed moles, cysts, skin tags, and lipomas and other ‘lumps and bumps’. These are performed using local anaesthetic to numb the area but do involve the action of cutting or excising a piece of tissue. Examples of minor surgical procedures that we perform at Blemish Clinic include:
Minor surgical procedures are performed in one simple appointment that follows a previous appointment for a consultation with either Jan Birch or Dr Andrew Winter.
Jan Birch, our dermatology specialist nurse has many years of experience in treating moles, cysts, skin tags, and lipomas. Jan uses her own protocols which vary depending on the individual case and can include cryotherapy, curettage, cautery, or minor surgical excision and suturing, alongside a bespoke aftercare protocol to follow at home. Similarly, Dr Andrew Winter is available as a consultant dermatologist for referral in more complex cases.
During a consultation with either our dermatology specialist nurse, Jan Birch or consultant dermatologist, Dr Andrew Winter, your mole, cyst, skin tags, or lipoma will be accessed to decide on the most appropriate treatment option. A full medical history will be taken to determine if there are any underlying health issues or medications which could be impacting on the formation of your skin concern, such as acne in the case of cysts, or that could conflict with the proposed treatment. Any known allergies will also be discussed.
The removal of moles, cysts, skin tags, and lipomas via minor surgical procedures is suitable for men and women of all ethnicities and skin types, although scarring is a possibility and will vary by skin type. We aim to carry out all minor surgical procedures using techniques that minimise scarring. If you have a problem with healing, such as keloid scar formation, you may not be suitable for some of the minor surgical options.
If you have an active viral infection, such as a cold, or an active skin infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal) in the area where the lump is to be removed, then these will need to be treated with prescribed medication before minor surgery can be performed.
Similarly, if you are currently pregnant or breast feeding, we will ask you to wait before removing any moles, cysts, skin tags, or lipomas as these can be affected by hormonal changes. Such lumps are usually harmless so waiting will not be a concern, but we will ensure that the lesion has been properly assessed, particularly in the case of moles.
Minor surgical procedures are all performed using a local anaesthetic called lidocaine that will be injected into and around the targeted lump to numb the area and avoid any pain or discomfort during removal.
You may experience some pain, soreness, and tenderness to the treated area afterwards, and advice will be given on aftercare options including over-the-counter pain medications and caring for the wound whilst it heals.
As treatment involves minor surgery, your skin will need time to heal and for any initial scarring to fade. We aim to use techniques that minimise scarring, but it will depend on the type of lump removed, its size and location, and your predisposition to scarring. You should expect skin to be fully healed and the impact of the surgical procedure to be barely noticeable after 6-8 weeks.
Any discomfort, irritation, or cosmetic dissatisfaction caused by the original mole, cyst, skin tags, or lipoma will be gone, and skin will return to normal (with minimal to no visible scar).
Removal of moles, cysts, skin tags, and lipomas via minor surgical procedures is a permanent solution, although there is a chance that you will develop such lesions elsewhere on your body in the future, especially if you are prone to them, have an underlying condition such as acne (cysts), are overweight (skin tags), or regularly spend time in the sun (moles).
We believe in being transparent with our prices and want you to be fully aware and comfortable with the cost of your treatment. A full list of our prices can be found here. We will always agree a final price with you though before treatment commences.
To assess, diagnose and safely remove facial and body lesions including moles, cysts, skin tags and lipomas.
Patients will attend a consultation for a physical assessment and discussion about their mole, cyst, skin tags or lipoma, and the types of minor surgical procedures we will use to remove the lesion. Minor surgical procedures may include cautery, curettage, excision, cryotherapy, and suturing.
Our aim is to ensure quick removal of the lesion with a good cosmetic outcome whilst reducing potential scarring with the techniques we use.
Expect your appointment for the removal of a mole, cyst, skin tag, or lipoma to take 45-60 minutes.
Your comfort is paramount; all minor surgical procedures are performed with the use of local aesthetic to avoid any pain and discomfort during removal. You may feel a sharp scratch from the injection of the anaesthetic.
Recovery time from the removal of a mole, cyst, skin tag, or lipoma is variable depending on the procedure performed. The wound usually heals quite quickly but scar improvement tends to take longer. We use specific procedures to minimise scarring. Often patients cannot see where they had their procedure after approximately 6 weeks