How to Lighten Remaining Skin Pigment After Mole Removal (Shave Method -- Due to Location Cutting in is Not an Option)? (photo)

I had a mole on my left upper lip shave removed about 7 years ago. For the first few years it was very light and almost blended into my skin. Recently it has become much darker and it is starting to bother me again (especially when people mistake it for dirt or marker since it flat against my skin). What is the method to lighten this "scar" or "intradermal melanocytic nevus?" I do not want to cut the mole out as it will ruin the shape of my lip (I was told it is very deep). Thank you for your help!

Doctor Answers 3

Mole removal and recurrence of the mole vs. hyperpigmentation

You may have a recurrence of the mole that was originally taken off.  Therein, you may need a surgical specimen and mole removal.  If there is, on the other hand, PIH or discoloration, then topical creams such as Melarase will work.  A skin specialist can help you make the decision. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Mole removal

I would recommend that you see your physician for a follow-up and evaluation of the area.  It may be possible to treat with IPL to help with the pigment.  

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Pigment following mole removal

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) should significantly lighten it but may take several treatments.

You need a machine with specific filters to target the deeper pigment (which is the hardest to target), IPL machines vary greatly from the simple ones (which you see in beauty salons for hair removal) and more complex ones. Make sure you go to a properly trained dermatologist or surgeon with experience in this area. 

Q-switched lasers are also good for deep pigment removal.Other lasers such as C02 can work, however, there is a high chance of scarring and depigmentation ie swapping a brown for a white patch.

IPL is the simplest with the least risk of scarring, however, you need multiple treatments and it may not completely get rid of the deep pigment. 

There is a way to design an excision which will not distort the shape of your lip.  However, there will always be a scar, and although it fades with time to a fine line, you are best to try the laser options first.

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.