Is the precancerous mole that you had removed now growing back? When this happens, the biggest fear is that what’s growing back is melanoma.

The reason that the mole grows back in the first place is that not every pigment cell was removed.

A punch biopsy will remove every last melanocyte (pigment cell). However, a punch biopsy will leave more of a scar and requires stitches.

These last two points are off-putting to some patients, but the reward is that the precancerous mole will not grow back.

Can a melanoma rise in that spot? Of course, but this wouldn’t be a grow-back of what was removed, but rather, a coincidence that a melanoma was arising in that spot.

“When a biopsy-proven precancerous mole grows back, the decision will be whether to leave it alone or to remove it to ensure clear margins,” says Dr. Tess Mauricio, MD, FAAD, a leading board certified dermatologist from Stanford University Medical School and CEO of

“The decision depends on the pathologic diagnosis. If it is a completely benign mole [that has grown back], it is not necessary to remove when it recurs.

“If it is truly precancerous, my recommendation is to remove the rest and ensure margins are clear.” The mole grew back; what does this mean and what should be done?