Moles are benign tumors on the skin resulting from a clustered growth of color producing skin cells called melanocytes. Moles can be of different shapes, sizes and are usually brown or black in color.
People consider removing a mole when it’s unsightly, irritates, rubs against clothing or jewelry or shows signs of melanoma. A majority of the reasons here come under cosmetic removals and hence not covered by insurance. In case, a mole turns cancerous its removal becomes imminent. Either way, you’ll have to consult a board-certified dermatologist to identify the right course of action & removal procedure so that it leaves a minimal scar.
“Mole removal without scar is a myth. Anything that has been surgically removed will result in a scar.”
Even non-invasive removal methods such as cryotherapy or laser leave scars but what is more important is the kind of mole it is and the removal procedure chosen to achieve desired results.
The magnitude of a mole removal scar becomes a top priority when the mole to be treated is located on the face.
Therefore, one has to be to really cautious while deciding the right removal procedure. For instance, a surgical excision leaves a linear scar which is usually longer than the size of the mole while with laser technique the scar is barely visible but if your mole goes to deeper layers of the skin than doing a laser goes out of the question completely.
A laser is only used with superficial and benign moles.
People also frequently consider using home remedies or creams marketed as at-home removal techniques without knowing anything about them. The Internet is flooded with information on their effectiveness as being a low-cost alternative to medical procedures and also the ones that leave no scars behind.
The claims, however, are not medically proven. That being said, even if you want to use them, speak to your dermatologist and only proceed if your mole is benign.
Now that we have set the premise for this article, let us quickly understand various factors that contribute to scar formation.
1. Skill of the dermatologist/plastic surgeon
Choose a board-certified doctor to conduct the evaluation and finalize the right mole removal procedure for you. You might further want to narrow down your search for face, neck, chest, back etc. based on the location of your mole. For example, a dermatologist who has done several facial mole removal surgeries would exactly know what type of removal technique will suit you. You will feel confident with a doctor with prior relevant experience and training.
2. Removal procedure
Shaving generally leaves a less detectable scar in comparison to surgical excision method where stitched go deep into the wound so that the mole doesn’t grow. This procedure will leave a noticeable scar.
3. Aftercare of wound
Based on how you care for the wound and how effectively you act on your doctor’s post care instructions will go a long way in deciding the magnitude of a scar on your skin. It is important that you follow dermatologist’s instructions religiously to get the better healing results. You cannot expect a dirty and infected wound to give you the best results. Right?
4. Size & location of a mole
The noticeability of a scar is also dependent on the size and location of the mole. Atypical Nevis tend to leave a recognizable scar than a common nevus. Some doctors point out that shoulders heal worse than face.
5. Age & health of a patient
Your age and health condition will go a long way in deciding how noticeable your scar. Generally, the older patients heal better in comparison to the younger ones. Moreover, your sickness may further aggravate the healing process and result in a much visible scar.
6. Follow your doctor’s instructions
Your doctor is the best person to give you all necessary instructions once the mole is removed. Just follow their instructions religiously and you’ll be on your way to a great recovery with minimum scarring. We have dedicated a complete article on how to minimize scarring after mole removal in 11 easy steps for our readers.
Other things you should ask a dermatologist
1. Why is a particular removal procedure chosen? How does the procedure work?
2. Has he/she worked on such procedure before?
2. What are the advantages of the procedure? What are the risks?
3. How much time will it take it heal?
4. How to aftercare the wound?
5. Are there other medical alternatives? Are home remedies/removal creams an option?
6. What will scar look like? Any photos/videos available?
Asking such questions will mentally & physically prepare you for the treatment.
To sum it up, if you were to ask if a mole can be removed without a scar. The straightforward answer is ‘NO’. However, the above-mentioned points collectively have a role to play in deciding the size, structure and noticeability of your scar.
Image Source: BeautyZion