In most cases, moles are not cancerous and are benign pigmented lesions, meaning that they do not cause any issues / symptoms and can be left alone.
However, in some cases, despite a mole being benign, it can cause significant distress and make people feel self conscious depending on the location of a single mole or multiple moles.
For this reason, people opt to have them removed.
A mole can be removed from any part of the body in a number of ways.
Firstly, a mole will be thoroughly examined by a mole expert and cleaned.
Secondly, the mole can then be removed, usually by excision under local anaesthetic, meaning that you will be awake but won’t feel any pain.
Along with making an excision to remove the mole, there are a number of different methods available for mole removal:
1. Shaving – a mole can be professionally shaved away by a mole expert using a scalpel. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and will not leave any deep scarring. Patients will usually have a mark where the mole has been shaved.
2. Laser – some moles, depending on their diameter and location, can be removed using a laser. A light energy laser can break down the mole so that it fades and disappears completely.
3. Excision – the mole is cut away using a scalpel and is stitched afterwards to heal the wound. An excision is different to an incision in that the technique cuts around the mole to remove it completely along with some surrounding tissue.
If a mole is considered for removal but is benign, then removing it is purely for cosmetic reasons.
However, there are still a large number of reasons why people have moles removed, including:
They do not like the way they look.
The location of the mole causes issues, such as on the nose – resulting in stress, anxiety and feeling of embarrassment.
The mole is large and intrusive.
The mole causes anxiety for the future, such as risk of cancers.
The mole gets caught on clothing, such as a bra strap, which results in inflammation or irritation.
Removing a mole can sometimes be a bit worrying, but it is very simple and straight forward procedure.
In most cases the patient only requires local anaesthetic and can return home in a few hours after having the minor surgery.
However, if the patient does not opt for surgery and instead is a candidate for laser mole removal, the recovery is even quicker.
Laser mole removal is a procedure that has grown in popularity over its surgical counterpart simply because it is less intrusive and does not require being cut in any way.
However, removal by excision often provides a better guarantee that the mole will not return in the future. This is because the mole and some surrounding tissue is removed to prevent re-growth or re-pigmenting at a later date.
On the other hand, being cut obviously results in scarring where the wound has been and a longer recovery and aftercare plan.
Laser mole removal works by using a specialist laser after the area is numbed using local anaesthetic. The laser works on the pigmentation in the mole using light energy. Once the pigment clears, the body naturally heals the area and mole disappears or fades.
Sometimes a scab forms in the area where the laser has been working on the mole and the skin may look a little irritated for a few days.
Most patients do not report pain during or after this procedure and it has a high success rate.
Some patients do report a sensation of tingling during the laser treatment but it is generally nothing more than plucking a hair out or snapping the skin with an elastic band.
As with all procedures and treatments, there are a pros and cons with laser mole removal depending on the specifications of the mole and what you are looking to achieve.
The pros are that it has a high success rate and is a non-intrusive treatment. It does not require any cutting and can be used on all areas of the body, especially sensitive areas such as the face and nose. Lastly; as there are no wounds, there is usually no scarring and more than one mole can be treated during the same procedure.
On the flip side, the cons are that not all moles can be treated with laser mole removal. This is because it cannot penetrate deep within the skin and can usually only be used by flatter moles on the surface. Sometimes moles have deep roots that can only be removed by excision. For more details, please visit: https://manchesterprivatehospital.uk/minor-surgery/mole-removal/
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