What started off as a small beauty mark may have grown over time into an aesthetic concern. If you do not like the appearance of moles on your body, consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon may determine whether cosmetic mole removal is an option for you.
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What is Cosmetic Mole Removal?
If you are self-conscious of the appearance of a mole, it may be surgically removed with the help of a board certified plastic surgeon. Every mole is different. Dr. Power will make specific recommendations for you based on factors including the size and location of your mole, background skin pigmentation, and whether any risk factors for abnormal scarring are present. If you have medical concerns about your mole, including bleeding, itching, or change in appearance, it is important to see your family physician for medical work up before exploring cosmetic options. Family history of skin cancer or sunburns, particularly in childhood, are additional risk factors.
How is Cosmetic Mole Removal Performed?
The two main approaches for cosmetic mole removal are shave vs. elliptical excision. A shave excision performs just that – shaving the mole off flush with the surrounding skin. An elliptical excision removes the entire mole, including the underlying skin, and the incision edges are then meticulously stitched together. Each technique carries risks and benefits. The risk of recurrence is higher following shave excision given that the deep portion of the mole remains in the underlying skin. Shave excision may be recommended for large moles in certain cosmetically sensitive regions, for example, the nostril. An elliptical excision at this site may increase risk of nostril distortion. Dr. Power will carefully assess your mole and make the best recommendations based on your presentation. The procedure is performed under local anesthetic in a clinic setting.
Cosmetic Mole Removal Recovery
You may return to work the same or next day. Stitches are typically removed a week later following excisions performed on the face and 10-14 days post-op following excisions on the body. It is recommended to avoid exercise and strenuous lifting over that time period to lower risk of further bleeding or the wound opening, which would result in greater scarring. You will receive aftercare instructions for wound care while the stitches are in place. UV protection – wearing at least SPF 30 – is recommended particularly over the first year as scar maturation progresses. This may lower the risk of developing permanent pigmentation changes of the scar. Further recommendations about scar massage and sometimes silicone gel or sheeting may be discussed to reduce appearance of the final scar.