Moles develop as a result of melanocytes clustering together within the skin, explains the National Institutes of Health. Melanocytes are cells at the base of your epidermis that produce melanin, the compound responsible for pigmentation. The only way to make a skin mole go away is to treat these melanocytes.
Sometimes, all that's needed to make a mole go away is time. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some moles tend to change with age. As you get older, a mole might begin to lighten and even fade, taking on a pigmentation that is similar in hue to the rest of your skin.
For smaller moles, a procedure known as shave excision can be used to remove them from the skin, asserts the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. With this form of treatment, the area is numbed and then the mole is shaved off, leaving the underlying layer flush with the rest of your skin. Shave excisions are usually done with a scalpel or high-frequency electrical current in your doctor's office.
The Mayo Clinic offers excisional surgery as another option to remove moles. Instead of shaving off the cluster of melanocytes, your doctor cuts around and under the mole to excise it from your skin. Since a wound is left from the excision, the area is sutured to allow for proper healing. During the healing process, it isn't uncommon to develop some scar tissue in place of the mole.
If your doctor suspects a mole is cancerous, a biopsy is taken for further examination. It's rare for melanoma to develop in or around a mole, but not impossible. The American Academy of Dermatology advises you to pay close attention to all moles, especially those that change in symmetry, border, color or diameter. Any mole that undergoes one or more of these changes should be examined by a medical professional.
To help ensure that a mole doesn't darken or develop into cancer, preventive measures are often necessary, suggests both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Mayo Clinic. This includes wearing sunscreens with an SPF of 30 or more whenever you're outdoors. Avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and covering up with long sleeves, pants, hats and sunglasses also is recommended.