The advances in medical science have made it possible to treat many skin conditions such as moles, age spots, acne and others by lasers without any significant downtime or side effects.
Small, flat, pigmented and non-cancerous moles could be effectively removed with laser treatment. Very thin, focused and powerful laser beam targets the pigment (colour) in the skin by using intense bursts of light to break down the mole and remove any visible signs of it from the skin. Lasers are very useful for removing multiple moles at the same time. After the procedure the treated area becomes much darker and a scab forms after one day or so. It fades away after one to two weeks. Usually one treatment is sufficient, however, if the mole is deep two or more treatments may be required to achieve an outstanding result. The intervals between treatments are 3 to 4 weeks to allow the area to completely heal.
High frequency radio wavelength when channelled through an electrode tip can be used to cut through skin. We use a medical device called Hyfrecator 2000. Its reputation is well known in Australia. There are many advantages of using radiofrequency to remove raised, not harmful moles by shaving them off. There is much less bleeding, scarring and swelling. The wound heals much faster and there is less chance of an infection. It can be used on any part of the body. As there is no stitching required, the cosmetic outcomes could be exceptional.
However, only certain moles can be removed by radiofrequency. They are generally raised and not harmful. Therefore, it is very important to have a proper consultation with an experienced doctor to make the right choice.
Anaesthetic is always applied to the area before the doctor starts removing the lesion one layer at a time to achieve a flat surface. Once the desired outcome is achieved only the light dressing is required. Full recovery is achieved in approximately one week.
Cryotherapy uses extreme cold, usually liquid nitrogen, to remove targeted skin lesions. The cells inside the lesion are completely destroyed and are removed by body’s immune system or form a scab and fall off.
Cryotherapy is primarily used to freeze warts, skin tags, harmless moles, blood spots, solar keratosis and sun spots. Procedures are fast, almost painless and very effective. More than one treatment may be required to achieve the desired result depending on the size and the depth of the lesion.
When a doctor believes a mole may be cancerous and needs to be checked by the laboratory or must be removed for any other reason by surgery then a biopsy is performed. If the mole is confirmed to be cancerous or otherwise posing a health risk, then more surgery is usually required.
Excision biopsy is performed when it is necessary to cut out the entire mole. A small amount of local anaesthetic is applied around the mole, which is then cut out together with some surrounding tissue using scalpel or scissors. A couple of stiches are always required to close the wound, so a small scar will inevitably result which will fade with time.
Punch biopsy, as full excision, cuts out the entire mole. It leaves a small scar or none. However, it can only be performed on moles which are quite small.
A small amount of local anaesthetic is applied around the mole as with a normal excision. However, punch excision is much less invasive. A special tool is used to remove the desired portion of skin from the target area. As the diameter of the area is quite small, often no stitches are required. After punch excision the skin looks like is has been pierced by a sharp object.
Certain moles can be shaved down using a special instrument. Only the top layer of the mole is removed. The depth of the incision may vary depending on the circumstances.
Small amount of local anaesthetic is normally used to numb the area around the mole. Normally no stitches are required and therefore minimal or no scarring occurs. The procedure is frequently used to remove moles raised above the surface of the skin.
You will receive clear instructions on wound management after the procedure. Normally the recovery after excision is very minimal. Even after the full excision the swelling usually disappears after a few days. It is important to keep the treated area clean to avoid infection. Staying out of direct sunlight is also necessary to facilitate the healing process and to avoid scarring. Stretching the site of surgery is not advisable as it may cause bleeding and increase the size of the scar.
The most common risks of surgical mole removal are bleeding, bruising, infection and scarring. It is very important therefore to advise your doctor if you are diagnosed with excessive bleeding.