Moles, also known as beauty marks or nevi, are benign growths on the skin that are relatively common and may appear on various parts of the body, including the face, neck and scalp. Some patients are bothered by the appearance of moles, and occasionally these can cause pain or irritation while styling hair or cleansing the skin. Our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Fishman usually treats moles with surgical removal. Read on to learn more about the benefits of mole removal at our practice.
The goal of mole treatment is to make these small growths or nevi disappear with minimal scarring. Depending on their location and your anatomy, Facial Plastic surgeon Dr. Inessa Fishman uses radiofrequency heat or surgical excision to remove moles while leaving as little evidence of treatment as possible.
Dr. Fishman removes moles with the help of local of injectable anesthesia most commonly. During removal, Dr. Fishman performs one of the following treatments:
The mole is removed flush with the skin, leaving a flat, round, reddish scar that fades to normal skin color during healing.
The mole is excised with a deep component of the underlying skin, and the skin edges are sutured together. This treatments results in a faint, linear scar.
If you are in good health and want to improve the appearance of a mole or moles on your skin, you may be a good candidate for mole removal. It is important to understand that any treatment has associated risks and benefits; it is also important to realize that any mole removal treatment leaves scarring, and we work hard to make this scarring as imperceptible as possible.
Dr. Fishman typically performs mole treatments over 15-30 minutes, depending on the amount of work to be done and other associated procedures. We can sometimes perform treatment at the same time as your consultation; in these cases, you should plan to be in the office for about an hour.
Before mole removal treatment, numbing medicine (also called local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine) is injected at the site of the mole, and this injection results in a stinging sensation for a few seconds; Dr. Fishman advises patients that the injection of the local anesthetic is usually the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, with most patients reporting only a mild sensation pf pressure or tugging after they are numbed.
Recovery from mole removal treatment is typically associated with very mild or no discomfort. Most patients report intermittent tenderness at the site of mole removal for a few days after treatment, and take oral medications (such as Tylenol and Motrin) or nothing for pain.
Yes, mole removal treatment leaves scars. Depending on the treatment, mole removal scars can be a flat and circular, or in the shape of a thin line. These scars fade very well over time and are difficult to find once healed.
Most scars, including those resulting from mole removal treatments, go through a healing process, and scar maturation can take up to a year; during this time, the red and pink color of scars fades to a flesh tone, and firm, bumpy scar tissue softens and flattens. Dr. Fishman recommends a variety of scar management options after mole removal treatment, including sunblock, silicone gel or sheets, and anti-scar injections; she discusses her specific recommendations as part of your initial consult and post-treatment follow-up appointments.
Insurance does not cover elective cosmetic procedures, but may cover procedures deemed medically necessary, such as the biopsy of a skin lesion with uncertain or worrisome characteristics. For non-insurance cases, we offer financing options and are happy to discuss this with you after your consult with Dr. Fishman.
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