Moles—Removal & Treatment Options
Moles are brown or black colored skin growths on the skin. They occur when melanocytes, the skin cells which make melanin (the pigment to give our skin its natural color) grow in a cluster instead of being evenly spread throughout the skin.
Moles usually appear from early childhood, but sometimes develop during the first 25 years of your life. It is quite normal to have between 5 to 50 moles by the time you become an adult. Moles can be alone or in groups, and can appear anywhere on the skin. With time, some moles can slowly change and become larger, raised or darker in color. Moles can also darken after sun exposure or during pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions on Mole Removal
What are the treatments for mole removal?There are multiple treatment modalities to remove moles, the method of choice is dependent on whether the mole is raised or flat. Raised moles can be removed by an ablative laser - my preferred modalities to use is the Erbrium Yag instead of a CO2 laser for better results. The treatment uses bursts of light radiation to break down the mole cells in the skin. The number of session(s) to remove is dependent on the depth of the mole.
As for flat moles, ablative laser is not an ideal treatment as this treatment can sometimes leave a depressed scar after the mole is removed. Instead, we use a Pro Yellow 577 nm laser that only targets the pigments for flat pigmented moles.
Apart from excision and cutting methods to remove moles, laser removal is also another option which you may consider if you have multiple moles to remove at the same time or if your mole is located at a harder to reach area.
Can mole be removed permanently?Moles are made up of active skin cells, thus there is still a small chance of recurrence, especially if the entire mole is not removed entirely. Speak to an experienced and knowledgable doctor to find out what are the treatments you can consider to reduce the recurrence close to zero.
Is mole removal painful?Mole removal can be comfortable and tolerable. As local anaesthetic is usually given with an injection or topical numbing cream is applied prior to the procedure. Depending on the method of removal, the doctor will apply accordingly.
How many sessions does it require to remove the mole completely?For most patients, 1 session is enough to remove the mole completely. However, depending on the method used, some patients may see early recurrence and may require further sessions to remove the mole.
Will the treatment leave a scar from mole removal?The procedure may or may not leave a scar depending on the depth of the mole, the body's natural response to injuries or an individual's ability to heal. Usually, if the mole is deep, removing the mole may have a greater risk of scarring. During the first few days after the treatment, you may see the scarring as the body's natural response to injuries as the treatment penetrates the deep layers of the skin. As the body will begin to repair the wound, the body will also produce collagen, making the injury thicker and denser than usual. Slowly, once the healing tissue begins to build up, the affected area will look a little red and harden; after a month or two later, the scar will start to look less red and flatten over time.