Mole Removal = Hypertrophic Scarring?

I had a couple of large moles removed (cut and stitched) last year from my arm/shoulder and back. Both formed hard, slightly raised shiny scar tissue, about 5mm wide and the length of the original wound. Does this sound like normal healing for mole removal? I ask because I have been seriously considering C02 resurfacing for acne scars on my face, but have read that it is not for people prone to hypertrophic or keloid scarring.

Doctor Answers 6

Hypertrophic scarring afer mole removal

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The chest, shoulder and back area are at increased risk for hypertrophic scarring.  Hypertrophic scarring which is what you correctly described is not the same as a keloid and you should be at no increased risk for scarring after CO2 on the face.

Sacramento Dermatologic Surgeon

Scarring After Mole Removal

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What you are describing sounds like hypertrophic scarring which is very common after minor surgical procedures on the arms, shoulders and back (rarely seen on the face).  Hypertrophic scars are not the same as keloids and many people form hypertrophic scars after having a procedure involving making a cut in the skin. There are several treatment options for improving hypertrophic scars including cortisone injections into the scar, topical creams and laser treatments.  I recommend you consult with an experienced, board-certified dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon active in treating hypertrophic scars.  Treatment will depend on the appearance (color, thickness....) and location of the scar as well as on your skin type. 



Channing R. Barnett, MD
Boca Raton Dermatologist
4.1 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Hypertrophic and keloid scarring

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Hypertrophic scars usually form in areas that move more - like the shoulders, back, and arms. They rarely form on the face, but it IS possible. That being said, CO2 lasers are generally safe, but you need to seek physicians with extensive experience using these machines and doing them on people who have undergone other procedures that did result in hypertrophic or keloid scarring, as they will be more aware of how to avoid anything like this happening on the face.


Safety of CO2 laser for acne scars on the face

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The safety of the CO2 laser for acne scars on the face is well established. Hypertrophic scars on the face as a result of CO2 laser resurfacing would be very unlikely. However, other possible complications of having this procedure on the face include: cribiform scarring and hypopigmented (permanently lighter colored) patches. These, however, are also very infrequent, due to more advanced technology and the high level of training of providers certified to perform the procedure.

Excision of arm shoulder and back moles

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Removing lesions from such areas of the back shoulder and arm, tend to hela poorly because of the motion.  The face usually heals quite well for most patients.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Treatment of keloid scars on the shoulders - Los Angeles

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I would treat the keloid scars first with a combination of laser, injections, and topical therapy; then treat the acne scars once the skin is prepped.

Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.