Options for Removing Flat, Brown Facial Moles?

I'm a 20-year-old woman and I have many flat brown-colored moles on my face. I want to get rid of them. What are my options for mole removal?

Doctor Answers 5

Removing small moles from the face

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Flat brown moles on the face can be removed with hyfrecation if they are purely epidermal or excision if a surgical specimen is required.  Mole removal can be easy if the right treatments are undertaken.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

How to Remove Brown Flat Moles (DPN)?

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Hi Rani.  Our answer, like Dr. Oppenheim's, is based on the idea you are talking about the removal of DPN (Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra) lesions.

Our preferred method for removing brown flat moles (the type seen on someone like Morgan Freeman) is electrodesiccation.  Thid is a method that uses heat from electricity to cut off the blood flow to these lesions.  Essentially we cauterize the lesions.  

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Options for Mole Removal

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Surgical excisions, and laser treatments are some procedures you can look into for your mole removal. But my advice to you first is to go see a doctor as he/she will give a better answer as to which treatment is best for you.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

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I do not have the luxury of seeing what these lesions look like. However, from your description you might have a condition called dermatosis papulosa nigra.

This is a relatively common condition principally in darker-skinned people. It consists of multiple, small pigmented papules, flat or filiform (projecting) on the face and neck. It tends to run in families. Bill Cosby, the American comedian, would be a good example of this condition.

Treatment is for cosmetic concerns only and consists of shaving the lesions off or using light electrodesiccation. Initially, only a few should be removed to be sure there is no hypo or hyperpigmentation.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Lasers, IPL, and surgical excision are options

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Surgical excision is probably the surest way to remove those moles but will leave a slight scar. These scars can be made to be less noticeable for you. Getting a biopsy, or pathological assessment is always something to think about. Lasers can help remove them without a scar but do not always completely remove them. Most of these are switched and have short pulses to target the moles without affecting structures around it and have less complications.

IPL is a newer possible treatment that can act like a laser but there is less experience with this approach. Lasers and IPL usually require more than one treatment and can require up to 4-6 treatments or more and the mole can come back sometimes.

Consulting a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon would be something that I would recommend. We specialize in the face and are highly qualified to help you with this.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial 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.