When the pigment-producing skin cells, melanocytes, grow in clusters rather than individually, moles appear. A mole can either be flat or raised. All moles start as a flat surface and eventually become raised in some cases. It can be of different colors such as brown, tan, black, pink, red etc.
An average individual has about 40 moles on his body which can appear anywhere on the skin including face, stomach, neck, trunk etc. Most moles are benign but some can turn into melanoma, a very rare form a skin cancer.
Whether flat or raised, each mole has the potential to be cancerous. In fact, according to Dr. Neal Shultz, an NY-based dermatologist, it is a flat mole where most cases of melanoma come from. Being flat isn’t a guarantee that the mole is benign. The first thing that everyone must do is to visit a certified medical practitioner and let him/her evaluate your flat mole for its cancerous properties. Even before that one should perform skin checks at home once every month and carefully examine their body for the growth of new spots and change in existing spots.
If a spot changes its color, size or shape, see a skin specialist immediately.
Why should one have a flat mole removed?
Although a flat mole does not cause much discomfort or irritation as that of a raised mole, it can still be a strong impediment to one’s personality and self-confidence especially when your flat mole is located on the face. The second reason for getting this removed is suspected melanoma. The removal of a flat mole is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes the roots go much deeper into the lower layers of skin and must be dealt very delicately.
Choose a dermatologist with the right skill & experience to ensure good results. He/she will suggest the right removal procedure.
Surgical procedures for flat mole removal
1. Surgical excision with stitches
A shave removal is usually not preferred for flat moles because flat moles might reach deeper layers of skin and may not be able to reach with shaving. Shave removal seems to be a great option for treating surface level moles.
An excision is performed with a surgical knife after numbing the area with local anesthetic. The doctor will cut the mole as well as the surrounding area to make sure all mole tissues are removed. The wound is then closed with sutures. Stitches on the surface are removed within a week and the ones which are placed on deeper layers get dissolved automatically. In order to have minimal scarring and good healing results, follow every aftercare instructions given by your doctor.
2. Punch removal
The doctor uses a cylindrical punch to eradicate the mole completely. Forceps is used to take out the specimen from the mole to be further sent to the lab for histology. Stitches are then placed on the open area following by bandaging. Follow doctor’s aftercare instructions for a great recovery.
Punch could also be used for suspicious moles.
Is it possible to have a flat mole removed with Laser?
It is possible if the mole is confirmed benign by the specialist. Laser removal procedure works well with superficial moles and produces amazing cosmetic results. You might experience tingling sensation during the procedure and slight swelling for some time. If the layers go deep into the skin, a laser isn’t an option.
Home remedies for flat mole removal
Although a lot has been said about home remedies as an alternative to surgical procedures for removing a mole, however, there’s no medical evidence that proves its effectiveness. If you still want to use them, consult your doctor before going ahead with them. Home remedy isn’t an option for deeper moles and must always to used on surface level & benign moles.
1. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
You’ll need ACV, cotton balls and bandage. Apply cotton ball dipped in ACV on the mole. Fasten it with a bandage and leave it like that for a couple of hours. Remove the bandage and rinse the area. Repeat the process twice every day until it forms a scab and falls off by itself. If it causes irritation, stop use. Here’s an in-depth article on apple cider vinegar mole removal.
2. Try Garlic
Crush one garlic clove and apply on the mole using a cotton swab. Secure the area with a bandage for a couple of hours. Repeat the process 2-3 times a day. Protect the surrounding skin area by applying petroleum jelly. Garlic may cause skin burns, so be very cautious while applying it. If you can’t stand the smell of garlic, it’s better to use some other home remedy.
3. Try Honey
Apply pure honey to your mole and secure it with a band-aid. Rinse the area with water and mild soap. Repeat it 2-3 times a day for a couple of weeks until the mole fades away.
Important instructions to follow before using these home remedies.
1. Don’t let a remedy sit on your mole for more than 15 minutes if your skin is sensitive.
2. If it causes irritation, discontinue use.
3. Apply petroleum jelly on the surrounding area to protect unaffected skin.
4. Consult your doctor before using them.
5. Try to avoid UV rays. Reduce exposure to sun.
6. If a remedy has worked for a person, it doesn’t mean it will work for you as well.
7. The mole disappearance/lightening time varies for every individual.
8. Don’t rush into using other home remedies, if one hasn’t worked for you. Most remedies work slowly, so you need to be patient.
9. Don’t scratch or rub your mole while it is being worked upon.
Flat mole removal using creams
Most mole removal creams are not approved by FDA however, please consult your dermatologist before using any such whitening or mole removal cream.
How to get rid of a flat mole on the face?
Face is the most sensitive area of your body. Even a small spot ends up blemishing it and might result in extreme loss of self-confidence & self-image. It could also be a source of continuous irritation and thereby demand immediate elimination.
The removal procedure could be one of the following mentioned above. If the mole is benign, the dermatologist might prefer a shave removal but if it is suspected melanoma, excision or punch are the most logical removal procedures. A skilled practitioner must be chosen to help you throughout the journey and deliver unbelievable results.
Flat Mole Removal Cost
While excision usually cost between $200-400, a laser surgery can cost anywhere between $500-1000 depending on size, location, complexity, and the number of moles to be treated. Home remedies and removal creams can go up to $40 or more.
Your doctor will recommend the best removal procedure for you. Use home remedies and mole removal creams at your own risk as their effectiveness is not medically proven.
Image Source: Skincheck.com.au