Many different growths occur normally on the skin. Mole Removal should be decided by a Dermatologist, a skin care specialist and expert, to ensure a correct diagnosis. A Dermatologist is a medical doctor who has undergone additional extensive training in the study of diseases of the skin (5 years), and has successfully passed the Dermatology Specialty examinations of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada. Our Dermatologists at the Toronto Dermatology Centre will assess your skin growths and discuss with you whether they are safe or potentially dangerous.
Your dermatologist will also discuss with you the best and safest treatment options should you choose to have them removed. Some of these treatments are considered cosmetic and not covered by OHIP, while others are covered by OHIP or by private (work) insurance. For optimal results, make sure that only a dermatologist (a true skin expert with extensive training) treats or removes your skin lesions.
Moles (nevi) are growths that commonly occur and are usually brown or flesh-coloured and can be flat or elevated. A mole removal can be done by your dermatologist using a variety of surgical techniques, depending on the size and location. If you notice a change in a mole or if a mole looks unusual (e.g. not symmetric, irregular borders, very dark colour or multiple colours, or > 6mm in size), it could be dangerous (e.g. melanoma) and it must be examined and/or tested by a Dermatologist.
Having your mole removed at a salon or spa, or trying to remove it at home is a big mistake and we have seen several disfiguring and even worse outcomes as a result. For the best results and safety in mole removal, trust our experienced dermatologists.
Before & after mole removal
Skin tags are benign, fleshy skin growths that are brown or flesh-coloured and occur in warm, moist areas where clothing usually rubs, such as around the neck, underarms, breasts and groin areas; occasionally they are also found around the eyes. They are often numerous and catch on clothing or jewelry and can be removed easily and safely by our dermatologists using a variety of techniques. Home or self- skin tag removal is not advised as we have observed scarring, infections, significant pain and generally poor results. For skin tag removal, trust our experienced dermatologists.
Seborrheic Keratoses (“Granny Warts”)
Seborrheic keratoses occur with aging and are benign, waxy, warty-looking growths that can be yellow, brown or black. They occur on the face, scalp, trunk and extremities. and are easily and safely removed by our dermatologists using a variety of techniques (depending on size, location, thickness).
Before and after (2 months) removal of seborrheic keratosis on temple.
Sun spots (lentigines, age or liver spots) are benign, tan or brown flat spots occurring on sun exposed areas such as the face, chest, backs of hands, forearms and shins. They can be safely and effectively treated by our dermatologists with liquid nitrogen, laser or intense pulsed light.
Cysts & Lipomas
Cysts & Lipomas are collections of oil (sebum) or fat underneath the skin. If they are red, swollen and painful, then injection with cortisone can be helpful. Otherwise, in most cases, surgical excision is required to remove them. Our dermatologists can safely and effectively remove your cyst or lipoma.
Cherry angiomas are benign, small red or purple growths (collection of blood vessels) that can develop anywhere on the body and can be removed easily and safely by our dermatologists using laser or cautery, and occasionally by surgical excision.
Milia cysts are tiny white bumps (almost like deep whiteheads) that develop on the face (often around the eyes) at any age. They are benign and can be quickly and painlessly removed or extracted by our dermatologists with great cosmetic results.
Keloids are an abnormal wound healing response that occurs after injury (e.g. car accident, surgery, immunization, ear piercing) or inflammation (e.g. acne). They are benign thickenings of dense connective tissue, typically reddish (though sometimes a little brown or even flesh-coloured) and firm to hard. Keloids, unlike “hypertophic scars” typically extend beyond the borders of the original wound, and they do not disappear on their own.
Keloids are most common on the chest, shoulders, upper back, back of the neck (sometimes called “acne keloidalis nuchae”), lower belly (e.g. C-section scar), jawline and earlobes. Less commonly, keloids can occur elsewhere. Keloids can develop up to 1 year after resolution of the initial injury.
Keloids are more common in people of African, Hispanic and Asian descent. Genetics may play a role in keloid development.
Treating keloids can be a challenge, and while there are many good treatment options now, the area where the keloid was will never be perfectly normal skin so prevention is still key. Learn more about keloid scars.
Syringomas are considered benign growths. They are fairly common lesions more commonly affecting females and Asians, and predominantly of cosmetic concern. They are particularly common around the eyes and may be hereditary. Lesions first appear around the time of puberty. Syringomas are non-symptomatic flesh-colored to yellow small dermal papules. They can occasionally appear translucent. The surface is either flat-topped or round, and lesions are typically smaller than 4mm in diameter.
Patients can be reassured as to the benign nature of these lesions and treatment is considered cosmetic. The goal of therapy is scar-free destruction of lesions. Syringomas can be treated in various ways, with electrodesiccation considered particularly safe and effective. Typically, multiple sessions are required to improve the lesions, although 100% complete destruction is unlikely and periodic maintenance due to recurrence may be needed. Trust only a skin expert to treat your syringomas.
Spider Veins especially those that occur on the face are not likely to cause serious health problems, but can lead to certain state of irritation and uneasiness. The most popular methods of spider vein treatment are laser or intense pulsed light, or sometimes by electrocautery. Spider vein removal on the thighs and legs are performed with the method of sclerotherapy (injections) or laser. Our dermatologists can safely and effectively clear up these blood vessels for you.
Xanthelasma are non-symptomatic (not itchy nor tender) soft yellow plaques occurring most commonly on the eyelids (upper, lower or both). They are often symmetrical, and often all 4 eyelids are involved. Some xanthelasma are flat, while others are thicker and more raised.These lesions slowly progress and are permanent. Half of these lesions are associated with elevated blood lipid levels and so testing of total cholesterol, LDL and HDL levels along with triglycerides is worthwhile by your physician. These lesions are uncommon and have no malignant potential. It most commonly onsets in individuals in their 40s and 50s. Most patients complain about the cosmetic appearance of their “cholesterol deposits.”
Reducing blood lipid levels often shows modest if any improvement in the appearance of xanthelasma. Chemical cauterization with tricholoracetic acid, electrodessication, & surgical excision are the typical treatment modalities used by your dermatologist to get the best results. Your dermatologist will ensure a precise diagnosis and guide you on the best and safest treatment option for you.\
Pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules (“PPP”) are common flesh-coloured and benign growths found on the circumference of the rim of the tip (glans) of the penis. Pearly penile papules can be found in 1-2 rows, and may be mistakenly considered to be transmitted sexually (they are not). They cannot be transferred to another person. These small growths affect many men, and they are considered a variant of normal.
Pearly penile papules can be treated with various destructive modalities including electrosurgery, laser, cryotherapy and chemical agents. Our dermatologists have extensive experience treating pearly penile papules, and have treated hundreds of patients from across North America with this embarrassing and common condition. Typically, a strong anesthetic cream is applied prior to the procedure (no needles), and so the treatment is entirely painless and the healing time is approximately 1 week. The treatment is also quite affordable, book an appointment for a price quote and to answer all your questions.
*Results may vary from person to person.
For the assessment and removal of any skin lesion, trust the true skin experts – dermatologists. Our dermatologists are happy to assess any skin lesion and provide education and counselling (e.g. is the lesion benign or malignant? might it go away on its own? the cause and prevention of future lesions), as well as a variety of treatment options to work within your budget. Treatment of some skin lesions may be covered by the provincial OHIP plan or by private (e.g. work) insurance.
Call 416-633-0001 or email us today to find out the best treatment options for removing various growths on your body. Toronto Dermatology Centre is located in Toronto, Ontario, and serves men and women in North York, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, York, Aurora, Thornhill, Mississauga, Scarborough, Brampton, Etobicoke, Pickering, Peterborough, Guelph, Kitchener, Oakville, Barrie and all of Greater Toronto (GTA).