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 17

Facial lesion removal

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The only way to confirm that a lesion is benign is to remove it.  Excision with plastics closure should produce a fine line scar which will fade over time and also not be as noticeable as a pigmented lesion. Shaving the lesion is a temporizing situation as it will regrow.  Unless it is absolutely believed benign, I prefer excision; in the rare event of a melanoma, a shave will prevent staging the tumor.  Scar creams may be beneficial in assisting with the healing process.

Mole Removal- SCAR

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I would highly advise you consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for best scarring results possible. A plastic surgeon will remove the mole completely and give you a small scar that will follow the natural curvature of the area and skin. Dermatix is a great silicone cream to apply to your scar once stitches are out and skin is healing. Be sure to follow your surgeons instruction pre and post surgery for best results.

How to Minimize Scar After Mole Removal?

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Anytime a lesion is removed there will be a scar. Scars can be placed in ways that minimize how noticeable they are and you certainly can use products like scar gels to help minimize their appearance, but ultimately there is no way to remove something surgically without leaving some sort of mark. You have to decide whether you would rather have the mole or a scar where it once was. The only way to know for sure what your likely result will be is to book a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon near you. Best of luck!

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Mole removal

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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. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Mole removal

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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

Scar after mole removal

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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 77 reviews

Mole Removal

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

Prefer Excision

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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

Minimizing Scars

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The first requirement is that you choose a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, one preferably with a few patients you might know.  There are some "great names" out there who produce not such great results and others who don't have the largest ads or who have not appeared on TV but do amazing work.

In our office, we recommend Biocorneum as a good product to help minimize the appearance of scars. It's also good advice to massage the scar for the first six weeks or so.  

Michael A. Greenberg, MD
Elk Grove Village Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Minimize scarring after mole removal

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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

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.