Birthmark and Mole Removal
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Birthmark and Mole Removal
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.
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
Birthmark and Mole Removal Candidates
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 should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations of their results.
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.
Recovery and Results
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.
Potential Side Effects
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