Ask a doctor

Recommended Post-op Care After Mole Removal?

I had a mole shaved on my face about a week ago. I have since been using hydrogen peroxide + neosporin + band aid on it but it hasn't yet formed a scab. I was wondering if I was delaying healing by using hydrogen peroxide + neosporin and if it was recommended to not use these anymore? Also, are there any recommendations for scar preventions (Vit K/Vit.A/Scar creams or gels)? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 14

Wound Care After Mole Removal

Except for the hydrogen peroxide, you are doing the right things. Peroxide is toxic to new cells, so current knowledge lets us know it is best to avoid.

It does not sound like an issue in your case, but Neosporin is causing allergic rashes in up to 30% of people now. It has been around so long and used so much, it may have outlived its usefulness.

Keeping wounds covered is part of the "new" way of caring for skin. It does not "need air to heal" as the old myth goes. It gets its oxygen from the blood supply, not the air.

Finally what to put on to reduce or prevent scarring? Studies show Aquaphor ointment or Vaseline works best!

I know advertisers promote all kinds of other "scar creams," but, unless there is a raised or abnormal healing response, nothing fancy is needed or even likely to help.

Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Mole removal postcare

I do not recommend using hydrogen peroxide on the area.  At this point, use vaseline or aquaphor on the area just for a few days.  Also, make sure to minimize sun exposure to the area as it heals. 

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Mole removal aftercare

Stop the hydrogen peroxide and neosporin. Use vaseline or aquaphor instead. Vit E oil is also OK. You can stop wearing a band aid at this point as well.

Gary Goldenberg, MD
New York Dermatologist

Post-Operative Care of Shave Excisions

Below is a copy of the handout I give to all of my patients after a shave excision. Keeping the area protected will usually prevent a scab from forming which is advantageous.
• Removed the Band-Aid, if present, tomorrow morning and gently wash the area with soap and water twice a day.
• After washing, pat dry and apply Aquaphor Healing Ointment™, Vaseline™, or petroleum jelly.  These may be purchased over-the-counter at any drugstore.
• After today, a Band-Aid is optional.  The ointment will act as a protective covering.
• Continue to apply the ointment until the area has healed - usually one to two weeks.
• Shaving or using makeup can be resumed after the scab has come off.
• For the first few days the area can become quite red and inflamed which is normal.  

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Wound care after mole removal

Several things on the care of the biopsy site: - hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, iodine can all slow down the healing process and should not be used. Washing once a day with a mild soap and some water is plenty to cleanse the wound. - after washing and gently drying the area, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment and a bandaid until the spot heals. - we don't actually want a scab to form for ideal wound healing. The wound closes by the keratinocytes (skin surface cells) migrating from the cut edges towards the center of the wound. They that best when the wound is moist. If there is a scab, it stops or slows down the keratinocytes from coming together because they can't go under the scab.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Hydrogen peroxide will delay wound healing

You are on the mark…too much moisture (i.e. neosporin in this case) and hydrogen peroxide will definitely delay wound healing. 

Just think about getting a cut and leaving it under water all the time.

Wait until you have some wound heeling. The Scar gels and creams come more into play for scar formation, not wound healing. They do help, but aren't necessarily worth a great financial investment if things are progressing normally. 

Post operative care after a mole removal

Wounds heal better when kept occluded. This means that it is better to keep them covered and not let a scab form. They heal faster and result in less of a mark.

Studies show there is no benefit from using antibiotic ointment compared to plain, clean Vaseline (petrolatum). Many people are allergic to antibiotic ointments, so it is better to avoid them.

We have patients wash the wounds twice a day with soap and water, then cover them with sterile Vaseline and either a Band-Aid or bandage. This works very well.

We do not recommend scar reducing creams. They are expensive and studies show they do not work. Save your money!

Recommended Post-op Care After Mole Removal?

Thank you for your question.  It sounds as if you have done all the right things.  Now at a week after the mole shaving, I would recommend you stop the hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, and bandaid, and instead apply Aquaphor or vaseline to the site several times a day.  The moisturized environment will allow the area to heal quickly.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Wound healing after shave excision

I do not recommend hydrogen peroxide as it is quite irritating and tissue toxic. I advise patients to wash their faces and shower normally the day after surgery, gently dabbing the area dry afterwards. I then recommend a light application of vaseline twice daily as the shave excision site heals over the next week or so. Sunscreen is also important to protect the surgical site from UV exposure for one year post-operatively as the scar fades.

Aftercare for mole removal

Every scar will be different depending on the surgery and location of the mole. Our office employs different scar protocols; but most patients will start Melarase creams to prevent PIH.

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

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.