Moles are dark, round spots found on the skin. Some moles are mere dots while others can be quite large. These pigmented flat or raised areas are typically harmless, but some moles may be dangerous. While some turn to home remedies to get rid of moles this is not advised, since some moles can be an indication of serious skin conditions, such as melanoma
Your plastic surgeon will be able to visually evaluate the moles you want to remove. If a mole is deemed harmless, it can be removed in one of several ways:
None of the mole removal methods are painful, and all can be performed in the doctor’s office. The plastic surgeon will use a small needle to infuse the area with anesthetic. You will be awake for the mole removal. Once the area is numb—it takes a few minutes for the anesthetic to work—the surgeon will use one of the mole removal treatment methods.
During a shaving process, a scalpel is used. The mole is shaved off in layers until it doesn’t extend above the skin’s surface. The area is then cauterized, which means a heat source is used to burn the treated area. In most cases, a simple Band-Aid covering is sufficient.
In mole removal by excision, the surgeon uses a scalpel to excise or cut out the mole and a small border around it. If the mole extends into deeper layers of the skin, this part will also be removed and sent for laboratory analysis. If the surgical wound is large enough, sutures (stitches) may be used to closed the wound. The surgeon will remove the sutures at a follow-up appointment.
Following removal, the physician will instruct the patient on how to clean the wound to prevent infection and aid healing with minimal scarring.
Laser technologies are an exciting option for non-invasive mole removal. The Cynosure/Palomar Icon laser system uses a safe and powerful laser to target and destroy the cells that make up the mole. Your surgeon will precisely focus treatment on the mole, rather than the surrounding tissue. The Cynosure/Palomar Icon laser system emits pulses of light (hundreds of pulses per second) to heat and destroy unwanted cells. The device is equipped with a monitor so the physician has a continuous view of the treatment area and is able to precisely direct the laser for optimal benefits.
Importantly, laser mole removal is appropriate for flat moles, i.e., moles that do not rise above the surface of the skin. Raised moles are treated with shaving or excision. Laser technology can also be sued to remove other flat dark spots from the skin, such as age spots (also known as liver spots), dark birthmarks, and freckles.
While excision can leave patients with a small scar, laser mole removal effectively eliminates scarring. Only about 1% of patients are left with a scar after treatment.