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by Kelly O’Mara

November 29, 2019

If your mole removal requires stitches, then you may need to wait before swimming

Mole removal is a fairly common minor surgical procedure.

You might think you can get back to exercise and back into the pool right away. But that’s not necessarily true, which might leave you wondering: How long after mole removal can I swim?

Can You Swim After Mole Removal?

It depends on what kind of mole removal and how intensive it was.

You might have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons or because it’s precancerous or cancerous. Your doctor will likely perform a biopsy on any suspicious moles, and depending on what kind of biopsy is done, you may also have to stay out of the pool for a few days after that.

There are two kinds of mole removal: shave excision and surgical excision. What kind of procedure you have and how deep the incision is are two of the factors that determine how long after mole removal you can swim.

When is Swimming After Mole Removal OK?

A surgical excision is what it sounds like: your mole has to be cut out and then closed with stitches. How many stitches depends on how deep the cut is. If your mole removal requires stitches, then you’re likely going to have to wait until after the stitches are removed before you can swim. In most cases that’s around two weeks, but it could be longer or shorter depending on how deep and how large the incision is.

Just as with any open wound, there are concerns about both infection and contamination, and about the stitches properly healing. Most doctors advise against submerging stitches in water or undergoing vigorous exercise right away—you don’t want to pop the stitches before they’re healed. You’ll receive instructions from your doctor about specifically when to remove the bandage and how soon you can clean the incision.

If you don’t require stitches, then swimming after mole removal may happen sooner. A shave excision is essentially slicing the mole off using a razor-like tool. Although you’ll still need to let the wound heal, you may be able to return to the pool faster.

Once the wound starts to heal, some swimmers will use waterproof bandages to cover the incision so they can get back to swimming, but that does come with some risk. Ask your doctor about the specifics of your mole removal and how soon you can return to the pool.


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