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Moles are underneath or in the deeper parts of the skin I believe. Do they use lasers or something? How do they prevent or try to prevent scarring?

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There are actually a few ways that moles are removed.

Cutting it off

Sometimes moles can be "shaved" off if the cells don't go very deep. Other times, the mole cells will be deeper in your skin, so the doctor will have to make a deeper cut to prevent it from coming back (like taking a weed out by its roots). The deeper cuts will usually require stitches. This process is called 'excision'.

In cases where the mole is suspected to be cancerous, this is always the method used - usually a full excision is performed to make sure no potentially-cancerous cells are left behind.

Freezing it off with liquid nitrogen

A small amount of liquid nitrogen (which is extremely cold) will be placed on the mole. A small blister might form, but it will heal by itself.

Burning it off

An electric current is passed through a wire which will burn off the upper layers of the skin (where the mole is) off. Can require multiple treatments.


WebMD - Removing Moles and Skin Tags

How Do Doctors Remove Moles?

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Treatment of moles is very dependable to whom you refer for treatment. Dermatologist have more sophisticated methods for mole treatment compared to a general practitioner or a general surgeon.

Major factor influencing to treatment of moles is the possibility of melanoma.

Melanoma should be suspected as follows 1:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders (irregular)
  • Color (variegated)
  • Diameter (greater than 6 mm (0.24 in)
  • Evolving over time

Melanoma or a suspected melanoma should ALWAYS be treated by surgical incision and removal. Futhermore, the removed skin sample should be sent to pathologist. Of course if mole are treated with laser or other non-invasive methods, adequate histological diagnosis can not be done.

Current medical literature does not describe many proven method for prevention of scars. Whether large scar or even celoid will develop is very patient spesific. Some patients will develop large, very ugly scars and some will have total healing within months.

Silicon containing bands and bandages can be used to treat scar celoid, but the effectiveness of prevention remains unknown.

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  • 1
    Thanks for the advice! I chose the other answer though because it addressed the question a bit more directly. Your response also answered the question, but it strayed a little with describing Melanoma rather than focusing on removal of it and noninvasive moles. – Dave Liu Apr 6 '15 at 23:22
  • +1 - Agree with vast majority of this, but unless it's in a very visible place, most FP's (and certainly surgeons) can remove reasonably sized moles (a FP should not, however - imo - try to remove a melanoma.) In the US at least, anything you excise must go to the pathology lab. The advantage of an FP is cost. The advantage of Derm is wisdom. The advantage of Plastics is appearance. I don't know much about GPs in other countries. – anongoodnurse Aug 7 '15 at 20:18
  • @anongoodnurse +1 but no real references? This site is so inconsitent – TFD Aug 8 '15 at 1:27

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