Birthmark and Mole Removal
Beautify Enhance Renew
Birthmark and Mole Removal in Newport Beach, CA
Traditionally, birthmarks and moles are present at birth or develop early in life. However, they can cause damage to one’s self-esteem through adolescence and adulthood if they are large and noticeable. While most birthmarks and moles do not pose health risks or necessarily require treatment, many individuals choose to have them removed. Depending on your needs and preferences, Dr. Grazer performs birthmark and mole removal through surgical excision or laser treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Birthmark and Mole Removal?
Birthmark and mole removal can address skin conditions such as:
- Port wine stains
- Café-au-lait spots
- Non-cancerous moles
- Cancerous moles
Is Birthmark and Mole Removal Right for Me?
Individuals may consider birthmark and mole removal for either cosmetic or medical reasons. Individuals who are suffering insecurities or anxiety due to a birthmark, or those with precancerous or cancerous moles are likely candidates. Candidates for birthmark and mole removal should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations of their results.
How Is Birthmark and Mole Removal Performed?
For larger, darker, deeper, or precancerous moles, surgical excision may be recommended. During a surgical removal, the area below the mole or birthmark is numbed with an anesthetic to ensure that there is no pain. This will also cause the mole or birthmark to raise, allowing for easier removal. Your birthmark or mole will then be removed with a sharp blade. For precancerous or cancerous moles, a margin of tissue may also be removed to ensure patient safety. Depending on the size and placement of the mole or birthmark, stitches may or may not be necessary. Once the wound stops bleeding, it will be covered with a sterile bandage.
Birthmarks and moles can be removed using the VersaPulse® laser system. This laser uses green-light wavelengths that target the lesions while leaving the surrounding skin and tissues untouched so that there is minimal downtime or bruising. This laser is often used for the removal of unwanted birthmarks.
How Long Is Recovery After Birthmark and Mole Removal?
After surgical excision of a mole or birthmark, you may experience some discomfort or a burning sensation at the removal site. Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or TYLENOL® are sufficient to relieve pain. The excision site may be red for the first few weeks, but this will gradually lighten, and any resulting scars will fade. Results of surgical excision are permanent, and the mole or birthmark will not return. If you notice anything at the site where the birthmark or mole was removed, contact your doctor right away.
Laser treatment with the VersaPulse® comes without serious discomfort or extended downtime. There are no numbing creams or injections necessary with this treatment, although some patients do report a slight sting (such as the snapping of a rubber band on the skin), during the procedure, and there is a minimal risk of bruising and swelling afterward. Results can be seen after the first treatment. However, for more extensive, deeper, or darker moles or birthmarks, multiple sessions may be required. Should you need a series of treatments, sessions will be spaced four to six weeks apart so that your body will have adequate time to heal.
Are There Potential Side Effects After Birthmark and Mole Removal?
Birthmark and mole removal through either treatment is safe and effective. While rare, surgical excision side effects can include:
- Allergy to the anesthetic
- Pus from the wound site
Frequently Asked Questions About Birthmark and Mole Removal
What is the “ABCDE” guide to recognizing possible cancerous moles?
If you notice any of the following about a particular mole, schedule an appointment with Dr. Grazer for a complete evaluation:
- A: asymmetrical. Benign moles have smooth borders and a circular shape. Moles with uneven borders or an irregular shape could be cancerous.
- B: border. Moles with scalloped or jagged borders should be checked by a physician as soon as possible.
- C: color. Normal moles are typically brown or dark brown. A mole that is multi-colored (brown, black, tan, reddish-pink) is not normal.
- D: diameter. Large moles with a diameter of one-quarter inch or more should be checked by a doctor even if it is symmetrical.
- E: evolving. Noncancerous moles should not noticeably change their size, color, or shape over time.
My father and grandfather had melanoma. Should I be worried about developing melanoma?
Scientists speculate that certain types of problematic moles can be inherited but aren’t sure whether melanoma is genetic. Familial malignant melanoma is a clinical term that refers to families with at least two relatives (sibling, parent, grandparents) diagnosed with melanoma.
Dysplastic nevi moles are frequently seen in families with a history of melanoma. Mostly found on the shoulders, upper back, and face, dysplastic nevi moles are asymmetric, larger than normal, and unusually pigmented.
What kind of test can accurately diagnose a malignant mole?
A skin biopsy is the most reliable method for determining if a mole is precancerous or cancerous. The biopsy will either be a complete removal of the mole or a punch biopsy that involves removing a section deep inside the mole.
When viewed under a microscope, melanoma cells are either spindle cells or epithelioid cells. These cells indicate superficial spreading of melanoma or melanoma that has reached the nodular (aggressive) stage.
Are all birthmarks permanent?
No. Birthmarks such as salmon patches, congenital moles, café-au-lait spots, and hemangiomas typically diminish or fade completely during childhood. However, port-wine stains do not fade and may darken in color during puberty. Abnormally developed blood vessels cause port-wine stains but rarely cause health issues. Children with prominent port-wine stains on their faces and/or neck often feel self-conscious about the birthmark and would benefit psychologically if it were removed.
The VersaPulse® laser system used by Dr. Grazer is highly effective for removing port-wine stains in children as young as six years old.
What other non-surgical cosmetic services does Dr. Grazer offer?
Dr. Grazer offers a collection of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. These include: