Mole & Skin Tag Removal
Moles, lesions and skin tags can be unsightly; for this reason many patients choose to have them removed.
Most procedures used to remove moles and skin lesions take only a short time and can be performed in our office. Usually a mole will not return once it has been removed.
At The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology, the most common methods of removal include, removing the mole by shave excision or cutting out the entire mole and stitching the area closed (excision).
Mole Shave Excision
A simple procedure called a shave biopsy is used to treating protruding moles. After the skin is numbed with local anesthetic, the mole above the surface of the skin is removed with a scalpel. While a flat white mark is usually left after healing, sometimes the color can remain the same as the original mole.
Excision removal is necessary if the mole extends into the deeper layers of the skin. The full depth of the mole is removed and the wound is often sutured. The scar that results from excision may be only a thin line, though it can sometimes be more noticeable than the mole was. Dr. Weksberg recommends applying SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel with Centelline™ to heal the skin and reduce the appearance of the scar.
Usually the area heals with normal skin colour but rarely can heal with a white or brown and/or the same colour as the original mole.
Lesions arise from damage afflicted to healthy tissue; they often develop due to trauma, disease or other. They greatly vary in appearance.
Pigmented lesions are a common type of lesion; they are created by concentrations of melanin in the skin. They can be of any size or shape and may be slightly elevated. The two most common types of pigmented lesions are freckles and solar lentigines (liver spots and sun spots). These types of lesions are considered benign.
Freckles are most commonly the result of genetics or sun exposure. Freckles caused by sunburns have irregular borders and are typically darker brown than those that are caused by genetics.
Solar lentigines are usually caused by excessive sun exposure, therefore they appear on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, hands, shoulders and arms. They can be of any colour from light brown to black.
At The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology the most common method of removal for pigmented lesions is to freeze them off using Liquid Nitrogen. This procedure is also known as Cryotherapy. Dr. Weksberg will apply the Liquid Nitrogen directly to the lesion for a few seconds. Afterwards the lesion will turn darker and in approximately one week, the lesion will fall off on its own. This procedure is quick and relatively painless, causing a small stinging sensation for a very brief time.
Skin Tag Removal
With age, many people begin to develop small flaps of skin over their bodies called skin tags. These are most commonly located on the face, eyelids, neck and underarm area; they also often show up under breasts and throughout the groin area. These tiny growths are benign but can be bothersome.
Skin tags are considered unattractive, they can also become irritated by clothing rubbing on them and cause pain and irritation when jewelry catches on them. They can also make it hard for a person to shave without causing nicks and therefore many people choose to have them removed.
At The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto, the most common method of removal for skin tags involves freezing them off using liquid nitrogen. This procedure is also known as cryotherapy. Dr. Weksberg performs this simply procedure by applying the liquid nitrogen directly to the skin tags for a few seconds. The area will be a little red immediately following the procedure. After approximately one week, the skin tag will fall off on its own. This treatment is relatively painless but may causes a bit of a stinging. One treatment is generally sufficient for small skin tags, but larger ones may have to be frozen several times over the course of a few weeks to achieve the desired results.
Another popular way of removing skin tags at The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto involves cautery. This is the medical term for electrically burning the skin to close the wound after the growth has been cut off. This method is well suited to treat larger skin tags.
The treatment involves first cutting off the skin tag using medical scissors then cauterizing the wound. An Adhesive bandages will be applied to the site, which will need to be kept clean and covered until healed. At The Weksberg Centre for Cosmetic Dermatology in Toronto, some patients prefer this method because it offers immediate results.
It is important to realize that although most moles and other blemishes are benign or non-cancerous, a mole can be a cancerous growth. For this reason it is always best to get medical advice. If you notice a mole that suddenly changes in size, shape or color, bleeds, itches or becomes painful be sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.