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Tips on Preventing Scarring After Mole Removal Surgery

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Tips on Preventing Scarring After Mole Removal Surgery

Moles (nevi) tend to be small dark growths on the skin (from a point to more than an inch diameter) that develop as a result of the accumulation of too many melanocytes, which are skin cells that produce pigment. Depending on the amount of pigment that is produced, they can be any dark or light brown color, yellow, or pink. They may be smooth or thick, like warts, and some may even be hairy, which increases their lack of attractiveness.

Moles are common and usually harmless, but some can become malignant over time and should be removed surgically. Others are just plain ugly and seem to be located in the worst possible places, spoiling their appearance. Removal of moles is not only a practical solution to these conditions, but it is also not all that complicated. In this article, we go over the available ways to remove moles, as well as how to prevent scarring post mole removal.

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Remove Unwanted or Malignant Moles

If you want to get rid of a mole on your body, then you will need to contact your dermatologist to inspect the mole and look at its shape, color, and size. Once you have done this, you and your dermatologist will be able to determine which treatment is going to be appropriate to eliminate it. More commonly, it will be removed through any of the procedures discussed below, i.e. laser surgery or incision. The mole should also be tested to make sure it is not potentially cancerous.

If you decide that you want or find that you need to remove your moles, here are the main ways mole removal can be done:

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1. Deep Excision

The dermatologist uses local anesthesia, such as Novocaine, to numb the area and a small knife or scalpel to cut the mole. Malleolar splitting requires a deep and wide cut to ensure that cancerous skin and tissue are completely removed. In this case, sutures or cauterization (burning) may be necessary to limit damage and promote healing.[1] There may be some scars, depending on the size of the cleavage and the skill of your doctor.

2. Removal by Shaving

The dermatologist applies a local anesthetic and then uses a scalpel blade to shave or peel off the mole, leaving the treated area flush with the surface of your skin. A crust will form, but after a week or two, it will fall off, leaving the area smooth and generally without scars.

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3. Laser Surgery Removal

In laser mole removal surgery, a beam of laser light is used to warm cells or tissues in order to disrupt tissue cells and break them.[2] The blood vessels are sealed by the laser beam. Broken cells are absorbed by the body as the area heals.

Prevent Scarring Post-Removal

The unfortunate thing about mole removal is the fact that, in most cases, a scar will remain after removal. However, these tips will help you care for your skin after mole removal and will help you avoid this occurrence.[3]

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  1. It is very important that you follow your dermatologist instructions very carefully. After the mole has been removed, your dermatologist will give you information on how to take care of the affected area and provide you with skin care instructions too. Follow them!
  2. If there are stitches around the area, then you have to make sure that the entire area is covered until all stitches have been removed. It is very important that you also keep the area clean and prevent bacteria from entering.
  3. You have to moisturize your skin. Scars are much more likely to appear on dry skin. Therefore, you will need to hydrate daily in order to keep the skin moist.
  4. You should also be provided with a scar treatment cream and if you are not, you should be able to find this at the local pharmacy as well. These treatment creams will use natural ingredients to prevent scars. The cream will have to be applied to the affected area two or three times a day for between 10 and 12 weeks.
  5. You should also massage the area every day as well in order to increase blood circulation there. By massaging the area and increasing circulation, it will ensure that the necessary nutrients are able to reach the area. These will be important in fortifying your skin against possible scars. Massage the area firmly for at least two minutes each day.
  6. If you go out in the sun then you need to use sunscreen. The sun’s rays can certainly cause damage to your skin and will worsen it further. This will prevent your skin from healing properly and, as such, a scar will become much more likely. Be sure to use sunscreen regardless of weather.
  7. Get some vitamin E capsules, prick them, and then spread the contents over the affected area. When vitamin E is applied to a certain area of the skin, it will nourish it and help with the healing process. By strengthening your skin this way, you are much more likely to avoid scars.

Be sure to keep in touch with your dermatologist. They can give you more advice on how to deal with any problems that may incur.

Featured photo credit: Getty Images via rodalesorganiclife.com

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Reference

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Elise Bauer

Freelance Writer, Lawyer & Blogger

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