What is the best method for removing a raised facial mole? (photo)

I have had the mole since childhood. I don't mind the pigment, but as an adult, it has become more raised, which bothers me. What method of removal has the least risk of scarring? (Also, I am half Asian.) I was told CO2 laser by one dermatologist (who doesn't have that laser), but when I followed his referral, that dermatologist told me that it isn't an option. Any San Francisco referrals would be appreciated.

Doctor Answers 3

Raised Moles & Flat Moles Can Be Removed Without Stitches By Scalpel Sculpting Followed By Dermaplaning In All Skin Types

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Raised Moles & Flat Moles Can Be Removed Without Stitches By Scalpel Sculpting Followed By Dermaplaning
In my opinion and long experience, the answer to which method is preferable for aesthetically removing either flat moles or slightly raised moles, as in this case, would be Scalpel Sculpting followed by Dermaplaning if necessary.

Although removing moles by any method from the face is likely to leave a small scar, scalpel sculpting, which involves no deep cutting or stitches has, in my experience, proven quite successful for achieving gratifying aesthetic results while leaving little, or often barely perceptible, scars.

The technique, which I have been using for thirty years, involves "scultping the mole" off from the surrounding skin in a tangential fashion (i.e. not cutting deeply into the skin). Deep cutting will inevitably result in a scar, while superficial (horizontal) removal in this fashion largely avoids this. Elliptical and fusiform simply describe the resulting shape of a wound excision after cutting them out deeply and before the placement of the sutures.

  • As an important aside, destructive modalities to simply destroy the mole, e.g. lasers, electrocautery, electrodessication or cryosurgery should not be performed since these simply destroy all the mole tissue and do not permit a small specimen to be sent to the lab to ensure that the mole removed was entirely benign.
If necessary, following scalpel sculpting, the borders of the mole can then be smoothed and blended with the surrounding normal skin by "dermaplaning," a technique by which the edge of the scalpel is used to delicately abrade the skin. Properly done, the entire procedure, performed under local anesthesia, takes no more than three to five minutes. In most cases, the procedure is done at the time of the consultation.

Shave removal

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Shave removal would leave a flat, round scar that would look similar to other scars on your body. However, this technique would likely leave some mole cells behind (cells under the removed lesion that are deeper in the skin). These cells may eventually regrow and make a bump again but not as large as the original mole. This technique also does not remove any coarse hairs that may be growing in the mole. The other option is to perform a punch removal or excision of the entire lesion (even the deeper cells and any hairs growing in the mole) --this technique ensures complete removal but leaves a linear scar behind and requires sutures. In this area, shave removal would be the best cosmetic option--it could always be re-shaved if anything grew back. Hope this helps!

Lindsey Finklea, MD
San Antonio Dermatologist

Treatment options to remove raised facial mole

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I would recommend a shave excision of the raised mole on your face.  This would be a fairly simple office procedure that would remove the mole without requiring any sutures and I believe would give you a good result.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 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.