[wpr5-amazon asin=”B076PZVZRF” region=”com”]
[wpr5-amazon asin=”B0735K1N7C” region=”com”]
Laser mole removal
Moles can be removed with lasers or with surgery. There are many types of moles that can occur in or on your skin, ranging from birthmark moles (congential naevi), junctional moles, compound moles, collision moles, and intradermal naevi- moles.
The most reliable method of mole removal is surgery, namely excisional surgery. This procedure can completely remove the mole, and any ‘root system’. Most doctors then send to mole away for testing to make sure it is not cancerous or has changes of melanoma or pre-melanoma. Surgery, it thus the Gold Standard for mole removal, as it gives complete removal and histology. Practically, surgery for moles may not be feasible as some patients may have hundreds of moles to remove on the face. Surgery often requires stitches, and most plastic or dermatologic surgeons will place both dissolving and outside sutures. Another surgical method to remove moles is called a shave excision – this is only feasible for moles or warts that are ‘raised’. Sutures are not required following a shave excision. The downside of shave excision for moles is that recurrence can occur, as the ‘root system’ of the mole is not addressed.
So, where do lasers fit in regarding mole removal? Firstly, not all candidates- patients are suitable for mole removal with laser. See the disclaimer below. Lasers that can be used to treat moles include ablative lasers (such as CO2 and erbium). This video only shows one method I use to treat moles. Other lasers include non ablative erbium glass lasers, – especially good for IDN or intra-dermal naevi. QSL or Q switch lasers can also treat dark or black moles. Q switch lasers are the same types of lasers used for removing tattoo ink. The major advantage of laser removal for moles is the speed of the procedure, and the accuracy of removal. Lasers take 1-2 seconds to vaporise the mole, and the exact depth can be dialled in to within 1/100 of a millimetre! Additionally, lasers can accurately treat the width of the mole with as little damage as possible to the surrounding skin. The major advantage lasers have over surgery is that laser removal of moles can be scarless. With surgery, even in the best of hands, a tiny scar can be left.
There are two disadvantages of laser removal for moles. Firstly, not all mole will completely disappear after laser resurfacing. Secondly moles can not be tested as they are vaporised by the laser.
Moles and birth marks amendable to laser treatment include the following-
CAFÉ Au LAIT MACULES (CALM)- Q switch lasers in the 532 wavelength. Picosecond lasers such as the PICOWAY. 532 in the Picosure at the time of writing has not enough power output to treat CALM. 532 nanosecond can treat the majority of these moles. May need 2-5 sessions, may recur.
Congenital moles- melanocytic naevi- Fractional CO2 has been shown to help. Will need many treatments over years. Best lasers are the Lumenis fractional resurfacing lasers due to their higher output. Fraxel CO2 REPAIR has not got the power for this job. Q switch reported, but outcome poor.
Becker’s moles or naevi. These moles are notoriously difficult to treat. One can try fractional lasers, or Diode – long pulse 1064 for excessive hair growth. I have treated many Becker’s naevi, however results are disappointing.
Naevus Spilus or speckled lentiginous moles- These moles can be treated with Q switch lasers in the 532 nm wavelength. Some moles may remain, as junctional or compound moles may be mixed in with CALM moles.
IDN or intradermal moles- These can easily be flattened with either an erbium or my favourite CO2 laser. IDN moles may recur, and may pigment after a laser procedure. The idea behind treating these moles is to make them less visible, without a surgical scar.
Junctional and compound moles- Lots of controversy in regards to treating these moles. Treatment should always be based upon the probability or possibility of cancer changes such as melanoma. As a rule I personally do not treat type 1/2 Caucasian patients with a higher risk of melanoma with laser. I do treat Ethnic skin types such as Asians, as the risk or skin cancer is very very small.
Giant congenital melanocytic moles- treatment should be done in hospital. Again controversy as to the ideal time to treat. Treatment of these moles is beyond the scope of this review.
Thanks for watching, and remember to subscribe!
Dr Davin Lim
Laser and aesthetic dermatologist
Lasers and Lifts
Google + for up to date info. Posted daily.