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How to minimise scarring after mole removal

How to minimise scarring after mole removal

How to minimise scarring after mole removal

Many of us, at some point in our lives, will need to have moles removed from our skin. This is often done as part of a procedure to remove different types of skin cancer or to remove a benign mole that we don’t like appearance of.

It can be a stressful time, and many clients tell us that there can be a lot of anxiety about potential scarring.

While complete scarless mole removal isn’t always possible, the good news is that certain procedures and aftercare can help minimise the appearance of scars following mole removal. Here’s how.

How should a scar look after mole removal?

Following a mole removal procedure, patients will experience changes to the skin, but they will minimise after time.

Immediately following the removal of a mole, you’ll notice a change in the appearance of the area – and that appearance will change in the weeks afterwards. This is totally normal and is the body’s natural response to skin injuries.

About 2–4 weeks after mole removal, healing tissue will begin to build up and the affected area may look a little red and feel rough or sensitive to touch.

The wound area might remain like this for 1–2 months, although typically scars become less red over time.

How long does it take for a mole removal to heal?

While many of us desire scarless mole removal, most people will experience some scarring after a surgical excision.

The appearance of the scar will come down to the size of the mole, the time it takes to heal, and the method of mole removal.

Shaving, one of the most common forms of mole removal, can leave the skin pink for a while but often leaves minimal scarring. This is also the case with laser removal and radio wave removal, which are used for shallow moles. Shaving and mole removal with radiofrequency are best suited to non-cancerous, raised, pink moles and is the most scarless mole removal procedure available.

Surgical removal is sometimes required for larger moles, moles with pigment, or moles suspected of being skin cancer. The healing period for surgical removal of moles is normally about four to six weeks.

What is the process of scar healing after mole removal?

The healing process following mole removal typically occurs in three stages:

  1. Inflammatory stage: This begins as early as 6-8 hours after the procedure and will normally last for five days.
  2. Proliferation stage: This stage overlaps with the inflammatory stage, beginning about 24 hours after the mole removal and lasting up to 3-4 weeks.
  3. Maturation stage: This stage can last up to a year after mole removal.

For many patients, their body will continue to work on reshaping the scar for at least a year after mole removal.

How to reduce scarring after mole removal

There are steps you can take to help reduce the appearance of a scar or minimise scarring following mole removal.

Firstly, stay out of the sun or use sunscreen, as exposure to UV light may cause the scar to darken or cause abnormal collagen remodelling.

Limit movement of the scar area. This can be a little tricky if the scar in on an area that stretches regularly, such as the hand, but limiting movement can reduce healing time as well as the size of the scar. Anti-wrinkle injections into and around scars have been shown to improve scarless mole removal by reducing tension on the scar.

Keep the area clean and moist, using a product such as petroleum jelly, as this will assist the healing process. Covering the scar with a silicone gel or wound dressing for up to three months has been shown to reduce the risk of infection and provides an optimal environment for scar remodelling.

Six weeks after mole removal, when the sutures have been removed and the scab has healed, gently massage the area, using two fingers to rub in a circular motion on the scar and surrounding skin. Do this for 10 minutes a day for the first three months.

Medical grade LED light therapy has been scientifically shown to improve wound healing and scar remodelling through its action on fibroblasts (collagen stimulating cells).

Lasers, microneedling and IPL can be undertaken to reduce the redness of a scar or abnormal scar formation.

Corticosteroid injections can also help reduce inflammation, particularly for keloid or hypertrophic scarring.

Caring for your scar after mole removal

Every patient is different, and our skin is as individual as we are. Mole removal can also differ from person to person. That’s why, to help minimise the appearance of a scar after mole removal, it’s essential to speak with your skin doctor.

A specialist skin doctor can best assess your particular needs and recommend a course of care specific to your requirements. Most importantly, we can make sure what you think is a beauty spot or mole is not a skin cancer. Missing a correct diagnosis could be life threatening.

Talk to the experts at Bass Coast Skin Doctors

The skin doctors at Bass Coast Skin Doctors understand that removing a mole is only part of the process, and are experts in mole removal and aftercare.

Are you looking for a skin cancer clinic near San Remo or Phillip Island that offers mole removal? Bass Coast Skin Doctors can help.

Book a consultation today to have your moles reviewed and discuss whether scarless mole removal will be possible for you. Call (03) 5618 7007 or book an appointment online.