I have just had quite a few moles removed from my back and trunk (maybe about 25?. They were seen by a dermatologist who felt there was nothing to worry about and then removed by a cosmetic surgeon who shaved some and used ablative laser for the rest. I am trying to minimise scarring and infection and am taking a week off work and staying home. Is there any particular care I should take with the wounds (including showering etc) and how long should I keep them covered for?
What Are The Best Aftercare Practices Post Mole Removal?
Doctor Answers (5)
Post-care for mole removal
I recommend using bacitracin for the first few days and then switching to petroleum for a few more days. After this, try to keep the area as clean as possible. I advise also keeping the area protected from sun exposure.
Mole removal aftercare
Most areas can be treated with petrolatum twice daily for 2 weeks for best results. If there is crusting and oozing, you may want to use bacitracin to decrease any superficial skin infection.
Shaving and lasering of moles requires post care similar to laser resurfacing
You will need to clean these areas like a resurfacing. It will require frequent cleaning with a gentle cleanser, followed by vinegar and water rinses. I have a laser resurfacing page that is quite informative for the person undergoing a laser resurfacing procedure. Below is a video to illustate our answer better. We have other informative videos and information on our website and a link is included to help you find us.
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Any mole/lesion that a derm recommeds to be excised should be taken out by making a small incision and sent off to a pathologist. This way you can determine if it had any pre-cancerous features. You will leave with a few stiches depending on the size of lesion that was removed. Your stiches will be removed or dissolve and then you can start a scar cream such as Mederma or New Gel. These scars will appear to be slightly noticable or invisable if cared for correctly.
Moles should never be removed by a laser
Despite the fact that your moles were "seen by a dermatologist" it is still never appropriate to use a laser as your primary treatment for removing a mole. This has been stated many times in this forum. Regardless of how "benign" a mole may appear, a biopsy may still reveal it to be atypical (pre-cancerous or even skin cancer). Using a laser to improve the appearance of a mole will alter its look and make it more difficult to observe for cancerous changes in the future. The majority of a mole can be removed very easily, and less expensively, using a shave biopsy technique. This typically results in a minimal scar, making the mole much less visible. It also has the added benefit of having tissue to send for microscopic examination, at least for reassurance purposes. For your aftercare, you should contact the physician who removed your moles. My patients NEVER leave my office without written instructions on how to take care of their postoperative sites.
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.