Q. Can I Remove Moles on My Face?
A. Moles should be examined first by your board certified dermatologist prior to having them removed, as a safety precaution. Moles can be removed anywhere on the body including the face. There is no guarantee of scarless mole removal. This does not exist. The small textural and color changes after healing, mature, and blend into skin, to look quite acceptable. Replacing, dark brown color with skin toned, or very light brown. Elevated projection with flat smooth contour. Large diameter with narrow incisional scar hidden on flatter surface. It’s always best to discuss the pros and cons of mole removal with our dermatologists.
There are three primary ways that moles are removed:
- Surgical Excision is traditional surgical approach to cut out the mole. This requires sutures. This may be a preferred method to remove a larger mole, one that is quite deep or with many hair follicles. This heals with a thin incisional scar. In some cases a mole can simply be “shaved” off to leave it flush with the skin surface. This is recommended for smaller moles, or with slight/ gradual elevation. Mole cells left behind may grow very slowly in future decades but give an almost seamless cosmetic look.
- Cosmetic Cryotherapy is a technique of freezing the “mole-like-lesion” called a seborrheic keratosis with liquid nitrogen. These must be assessed and diagnosed by a dermatologist prior to treatment. Your dermatologist will spray a small amount of super-cold liquid nitrogen on the brown lesion to freeze it. The area sprayed will have a burning sensation for a couple minutes, then develop redness and swelling, then crust and fall off in 2 weeks. (range 1-3 depending on size).
- Electrosurgery ( or cautery) is another way of removing moles. A modified electrical current causes a dry thermal injury to the surface of the skin, which briefly stings, then has a red blotch, a small crust, then peels away. It can also be referred to burning it off. This is done for tiny tags, or tiny lifted moles. And a brown spotted condition known as Dermatosis Pigmented Nigra – or DPN, which is commonly found on the cheeks, face or neck.