How Much Scarring Should Should I Expect After Having my Moles Removed?

Hi. I am 22 years old, and all my life I have been told I am an attractive person, except for the moles all over my chest. I have had several removed from other parts of my body with minimal scarring, but I'm nervous about having them removed from my chest/neck area. I have at least 6 that I would like removed that are all about the size of a pencil eraser or slightly bigger. Dermatologists have told me this is a delicate area, but I want them gone! What do you suggest?

Doctor Answers 5

Mole removal

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Depending on whether the moles are raised or not can determine the method of treatment.  Either way, with any surgical procedure you will be getting a scar.  The chest is prone to scarring.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Mole removal

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Any time the skin is cut, it will heal with a scar. The chest is also a very difficult area that is prone to scarring. A shave removal will likely heal in a better scar than an excision with stitches. 

Donna Bilu Martin, MD
Aventura Dermatologist

Any removal technique, outside of laser treatment, must lead to some type of scar.

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Any removal technique, outside of laser treatment, must lead to some type of scar. If your moles are perfectly flat, your dermatologist is convinced you do not have melanoma, and you have no familial tendency toward melanoma, some of these  spots can be lightened with a q-switched laser.

David Goldberg, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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Mole removal on the chest

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When I remove benign nevi (moles) on the chest, I will almost always use a "shave excision" method to decrease the risk of significant scarring. The mole is actually "shaved off" at a very superficial level just below the surface of the skin. This method is quite effective to remove moles and leaves a minimal scar. As we all heal differently, and different areas of the body heal differently, you should try having one or two moles removed and see how they heal.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Scarring after mole removal

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There are a few factors that determine how good or bad a scar will look after it heals.  The size of the move being removed, the area that it is being removed from (areas with more motion tend not to heal as well), post operative care, how well the patient tends to heal and the expertise of the surgeon doing the procedure.  Although it is not fail proof, I would suggest that if the moles really bother you, take one off and give it 6 months to heal and see how it looks.  If you don't heal well, it is better to have one scar rather then six.  Also, remember, nobody ever asks you how you how you got your moles or even comment on them.  But people always seem to ask about scars.  Since this is being done purely for cosmetic reasons, it would be sad if you were less pleased with the scar then you were with the mole.

Jay S. Gottlieb, DO
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologist

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.