Categorized | Acne

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Mole Removal With Laser Surgery – Is It The Best Mole Treatment?

There are many ways of getting rid of ugly annoying moles – some you can do at home and others where one or more doctor’s visits may be necessary.

Let’s consider the surgical options in general, and laser surgery in particular.

The first benefit of arranging with your doctor to have your moles removed is that it will involve an examination of your moles, to make sure that they are indeed common benign moles and not some precancerous mole, or worse, a potentially fatal melanoma. The treatment options will vary depending on the sorts of moles you have.

All being well, it’s now time to discuss how your moles are going to be removed with your doctor. The main things to keep in mind are;

  • How successful the treatment is likely to be – will the moles grow back?
  • How many visits will be necessary
  • How much pain, both during and after the treatment, will you have to put up with, and what sort of anesthetic will be available.
  • And will you be left with a scar, and if so, how long will it hang around before it disappears

The last two points are probably the ones people think about most. No-one enjoys the thought of pain, blood and minor scarring, and three of the most common surgical mole removal procedures come with a fairly high OUCH! factor (although it has to be said that we’re talking about a small operation and the pain is neither major or long lasting – just real).

These techniques are surgery by excision or cutting out, by electrocautery (burning), and by freezing. Let’s put them aside for another time, and consider the technique which sounds a lot more friendly, hardly hurts at all, and leaves virtually no long term skin damage.

And that of course is laser surgery.

Let’s look at the benefits a little more closely.

The first thing to keep in mind is that laser surgery works best on flat moles, preferably ones with a bit of color and contrast to the surrounding skin, rather than raised moles. So maybe all your moles won’t be good candidates for this method.

During laser surgery, cells with a bit of color to them are targeted by the laser. They absorb more light and heat, basically causing them to boil and burst. The body’s normal repair processes will clean up the area over time.

You will feel this as a small shock – something like getting snapped by a rubber band – but not at all serious and over in a second. This is perhaps the greatest attraction of laser surgery for moles and other skin blemishes.

The other is the absence of a wound, and therefore of scarring.

Because laser surgery only affects the upper layers of the skin. So there is no bleeding, although because there is some damage involved a small amount of liquid is released by the skin to help with healing. You can expect some redness and maybe a small scab. But nothing like the noticeable scabs that develop after other forms of mole removal surgery.

And because there is little pain or damage, it is possible to treat quite a lot of moles in one session. This means you get rid of your moles quicker, and need fewer visits to the surgery.

That all sound pretty good – quick, clean and with no real pain or chance of scarring.

But there are downsides, some quite important.

The first and main one is that you are likely to need more than one visit. It’s not easy for the surgeon to find and treat every part of a mole at the first attempt, and unless the mole is totally destroyed, there is a good chance it will grow back.

So you will probably have to go back for follow up surgery once the first treatment has healed. This is particularly likely if the mole has penetrated well into the skin. This will mean extra expense, with each visit likely to cost well over $100.00.

Another worry is that it is fairly common for moles to return some weeks or months after laser removal – this seems to happen more often with laser surgery than with other forms of treatment.

This may be because the mole wasn’t completely destroyed – although it is a simple procedure the surgeon will be trying not to go deeper than necessary while trying to zap all of the mole. It isn’t always easy for the surgeon to do both successfully.

Laser treatment can revitalize skin cells – this is the idea behind laser skin resurfacing, where it appears the laser stimulates the skin to grow back looking fresher and younger than before.

Moles are made of skin cells too, and there is quite a bit of evidence that moles can also be rejuvenated during laser treatment, and grow back. I’m sure that’s not what you have in mind.

So it looks like laser mole removal may not be your best option. While the low pain and very low chance of scarring are big pluses, it won’t help if several visits are needed, and I doubt if you’d be happy if the moles returned, bigger and brighter than before.

So you might care to give more thought to the other surgical procedures which are available, some of which are more effective when done well. You will be able to find information on these in other articles.

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