Our most common questions and answers can be browsed through below:

What are moles?

Moles (or naevi) is a collective term for most skin lumps or blemishes that are often present from birth or develop as we age. They can be raised or flat, skin coloured or dark. Most are harmless but any changing moles should be examined by a doctor.

Who should have moles removed?

Men and women who have either:

  • A cosmetic mole ie unsightly or irritating or catches on clothing or when shaving.
  • A suspicious mole that is changing in size, shape or colour and/or itches and bleeds.
  • Sometimes a mole has to be removed because there is a risk it has become malignant (cancerous) or because it has become a nuisance (for example catching on clothes or a razor).

How is the mole removed?

Most moles are removed using a combination of surgery and laser to achieve the best cosmetic result. Local anaesthetic is used to ensure the procedure is painless. The commonest way to remove moles that protrude from the skin is by a shave excision. The procedure involves using a dermablade to remove the mole parallel to the surface of the skin. This leaves a small superficial wound which is then cauterised with a laser to stop any bleeding and tidy the wound. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. No stitches are needed and healing takes about 1 to 2 weeks.

Occasionally we use an elliptical excision for moles that are suspicious or where the cosmetic result is likely to be better than a shave excision. It is a deep excision that removes the mole completely. A cautery laser is then used to stop any bleeding. The resulting wound requires stitches which can be either dissolvable or non dissolvable depending on the site of removal.

Your specialist will advise which method of mole removal is most appropriate for you.

What happens after surgery?

Mole or cyst removal is relatively simple and in most cases you can return to normal activities the same day.

For shave excisions we normally advise the following aftercare:

  • If you have a dressing you will be told when it can be removed;
  • Vaseline is normally then applied to keep the wound moist for 1 to 2 weeks until healed;
  • The wound will be red for 2 to 3 weeks, which gradually settles over the next few months;
  • Massaging with oils or moisturising/silicon (dermatix) creams is advisable after 2 to 3 weeks to help reduce any scarring;
  • If there is any increasing pain or redness, consult your doctor.
    For elliptical excisions we normally advise the following aftercare:
  • Keep the wound dry for 2 days;
  • Dressings can be left for up to a week;
  • You will be informed as to whether your stitches are dissolvable or need to be removed;
  • Over 1 to 2 weeks, in areas where the skin is under tension such as the back and legs, it is advisable to reduce exercises which would possibly stretch the wound;
  • Steri-strips can be applied over the wound for up to 3 weeks to help the wound heal;
  • After 3 weeks the wound can be massaged with oils or moisturising creams;
  • If there is any increasing pain or redness consult your doctor as it could be a sign of infection.

What aftercare is provided?

We don’t normally need to see a patient again after surgery as the wounds heal very quickly.

If we decided to send any moles for testing we will write to you in 1-2 weeks to inform you of the result. If you have any problems we will ensure you are dealt with quickly.

What happens to the mole after it has been removed?

Most moles are sent for histology after the removal.

This is the analysis of the mole which is done at a separate specialised laboratory using a high-powered microscope to detect any abnormal cells.

Although most moles can look normal to the naked eye, occasionally early abnormal cells can be lower in the skin, which could cause skin cancer – hence the need to send for analysis.

Will I have a scar?

All mole removal procedures, both surgical and laser, will leave a small scar which is normally far less noticeable than the original mole.

We use the latest techniques to ensure any scarring is minimal. Rarely, some people with very dark or light skin have an abnormal response to healing and end up with larger scars than usual (hypertrophic or keloid scars).

What are the risks?

Fortunately with mole removal the risks are very low and it is a safe and simple procedure. With any surgical procedure however there are potential side-effects such as infection, bleeding and scarring.

At Cosmedics we offer doctors who are experts in dermatological surgery who ensure the highest standards of care.

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