Moles, medically known as nevi, are clusters of pigmented cells that appear as small, dark spots on the skin, and can vary greatly in size and color. Moles typically appear on the face, arms, legs, and torso, but can develop anywhere on the body. Although most skin moles are harmless, in rare cases they can become precancerous, necessitating removal, however most patients opt to remove benign moles for cosmetic reasons.
There are four methods used for mole removal: shave excision, punch biopsy, excisional surgery, and laser removal. Shave excision is used for moles that are raised above the skin. In the shave procedure, a sharp scalpel is used to shave down the surface of the mole so that it is flush with the surrounding skin. The punch biopsy technique, usually used for smaller skin moles, involves using a special device to “punch out” a cylinder-shaped piece of skin and excisional surgery involves having a surgeon cut the mole out entirely and close the wound with stitches. The first three methods of mole removal, while not bad methods, can cause permanent scarring.
The fourth and more preferred method involves using a laser to non-surgically penetrate the pigment within the mole to eliminate it. With laser mole removal, a laser light beam is used to heat the cells or tissue with the intent of manipulating or bursting them. The pigment of the mole, which is then broken up and absorbed by the body during the healing process, absorbs the light beam. Because the laser seals blood vessels, there is no need for suture or stitches. The end result is beautiful, healthy skin WITHOUT a scar.
Other growths including skin tags, warts and birthmarks can all be removed in a similar fashion without scarring the surrounding skin. Initially following treatment, moles will become slightly darker and in time lighten, shrink and disappear. Depending on the depth and size of the mole(s) treated, several treatments may be required.
Contact our laser mole removal Madison area specialists today to schedule your free consultation.