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How to Minimize Scar After Mole Removal?

I have a mole on the side of my face, by my chin. I had it looked at, and been told it doesn't look cancerous. I really don't want a scar there. What is the best way to have it removed? I've been told cutting it out, shaving, etc. If I can't avoid scarring, is there anything I can do after mole removal to minimize it? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 13

Mole removal

If the mole is raised, it may be just fine to have it shaved.  If the pigment is deep, a complete surgical excision may be necessary.  Either way, it is very important to minimize sun exposure on the area as it heals. 

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 171 reviews

1110 112th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Minimize scarring after mole removal

Meticulous removal of the mole and suturing of the defect by a good board certified plastic surgeon is your best preventative measure.  Following removal of your sutures use of scar products such as Scar Guard, may help prevent the development of an unsightly scar.

F. True Lansden, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon

5701 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL

Recommended method of mole removal

If the mole is small I suggest a superficial shave excision initially as this will likely give you the best result. Occasionally the result may not be optimal eg return of pigment or a small depressed or raised scar, this can then be treated by excision. You will always be left with a mark, the only advantage is that the result will in all likelihood look better than the original mole.

Sheetal Sapra, MD
Ontario Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

1344 Cornwall Drive
Oakville, Ontario L6H 3P1

Minimizing scars after mole removal

The best way to minimize scars after mole removal is to treat the area of the skin with an ointment and leave it covered for at least a week after the procedure.  Shave removal as opposed to surgical excision usually minimizes scarring.  To have the best results find a board certified dermatologist with knowledge of cosmetics.

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

156 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Mole removal

I almost always start with a shave removal when it comes to mole removal as it it least likely to leave a noticeable scar.  You can also have it later excised with stitches if the shave scar is undesirable.  Lasers can also be used to improve scarring and may be a great option.  The key though is to minimize the scar in the first place so good wound care after the removal is critical.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

2880 Folsom Street
Boulder, CO 80304

Scar after mole removal

After removing a facial mole, it is important to close the incision using a deep layer of stitches that dissolve over time and a superficial layer to bring the skin edges together just right.  The superficial stitches should be removed in 5 - 6 days.  Leaving them any longer can result in Frankenstein "rail road tracks".  After removal of the superficial stitches, the deep layer helps to maintain some strength of the wound so it does not break open. 

I always have my patients wear tape on their scars for 3 - 12 months after surgery.  The tape protects the scar from the sun (VERY IMPORTANT) and also provides a little pressure on the scar so the scar will flatten and fade ASAP.

No matter how careful the surgery and post op care is, some patients just scar a lot.  It is much more about their biology than the surgeon's skill.

I always tell my patients that they will be trading their mole for a small but permanent scar.  It's a trade off.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

1101 Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98104-3508

Mole Removal

Mole removal is an individualized procedure and based on the following factors:

  • Anatomic location
  • Suspicion of precancerous or cancerous based on history and individual characterisitcs of the mole
  • Individual threshold for a scar

Find someone who specializes in removing moles from the face and they will be able to guide you on the best way of having a mole removed.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

845 N Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Minimizing surgical scars with mole removal

Dr. Oppenheim is absolutely correct in his assessment of your problem. Scar excision of the chin would be preferable to shave excision transdermally. I would recommend a scar excision with multiple layers including absorbable sutures for the deep dermis and non-absorbable prolene sutures for the skin. Excision patterns should be placed along Langer's lines. After surgery, I would recommend application of Platos Scar serum.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

804 7th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Prefer Excision

This area, I feel, does best with a double layered closure after an excision. It is generally not as amenable to the shave biopsy technique as it might be in other places. It also ensures that the whole nevus (mole) has been extirpated.

After biopsy care should include a second skin type of dressing, the choice being up to the surgeon. I like scarguard MD to diminish the scar.

Do wear a sunscreen and oral zinc and Vitamin C may help healing.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

5320 Providence Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Best way to remove a mole on the cheek.

Moles can be removed by shaving or excision.  I generally will excise a mole on the face unless it is very small because resulting mark is usually minimal.  Also, when a mole is "shaved" off, a remnant of the mole may remain in the skin and may become dark and/or may recur.  

Harry Goldin, MD
Skokie Dermatologist

4709 W. Golf Road
Skokie, IL 60076

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.