My Mole Removal Experience
What it was like to get my facial moles removed |
Back in the 1990s, when I was still a kid, I had some moles removed on my face the old-fashioned way. I faintly remember a women injecting local anesthetics into each mole and then using scissors (yes, scissors) to snip them off. She then sewed the skin together and gave me an oil to apply onto the stitches so they wouldn’t scar.
After a week, I pulled out the stitches and the damage was extremely minimal. Now that I think back, I probably had no scarring because I was young and young children tend to have skin that heals very quickly. Nowadays, lasers are the method of choice for mole removal. Some bigger moles, however, need to be injected with a plumping solution and then cut off with a razor.
Lasers for Small Mole Removal
I've had small, flat moles (about 1 mm big) on my face zapped away easily with lasers. I've also had a bigger, protruding one (about 1 cm in diameter) on my back sliced away by a laser. For both small and large moles, I went to a dermatologist to get them removed.
For the smaller moles, the dermatologist used a laser to ablate or zap away the mole. It was the same kind of laser used to remove sun spots and other dark marks. During the process, it smelled like charcoal, probably from my burning skin. Because the moles were small, there was no need for any anesthetics. The laser stung and almost brought tears to my eyes, but it wasn't so painful that I wanted to stab someone (that someone being the dermatologist). The whole procedure was done in about 5 seconds.
After the moles were zapped away, my skin was quite red. Open, slightly bloody wounds replaced what used to be my moles. The dermatologist gave me a cream to put on the wounds (most likely an antibiotic) and a sheet of DuoDerm synthetic skin. I was instructed to use the synthetic skin and keep the wounds covered for the entire day, changing them out each time after I showered. You want to keep the wound dry and wrapped to prevent it from rotting and getting infected. I followed his instructions and a week later, the wound scabbed over and fell off. The moles have not come back since. There was a very light red mark leftover from after the scab fell off, but after a few more weeks, I couldn’t even tell where my old moles used to be.
Lasers for Larger Moles
The bigger mole on my back (reminiscent of Austin Powers) was another story. Some people who have large moles on their faces have to get them cut off with a knife instead of a laser to prevent scarring and marking. But since my mole was on my back and scarring didn't matter as much there, I opted for laser removal instead because it was cheaper and faster than the knife.
Before proceeding with laser, the dermatologist injected the skin around the mole with an anesthetic. The shot really hurt, but then again, I am a big wuss when it comes to needles. This procedure required anesthetics because of the size of the removal area and the amount of time it would take the remove the mole.
Once the numbness kicked in, the dermatologist proceeded to “chip” away at the mole with the laser. It smelled just as bad as when I got the small moles removed, but thankfully, it didn’t hurt. I could feel something brushing against my skin, but that was about it. It took about a minute to remove the mole.
The care procedure for the big mole was the same as for the smaller moles. I had to keep the wound covered with synthetic skin, changing the bandage frequently, especially after showering. The big mole took longer to heal, but that was expected. After it scabbed and the scab fell off, there was a definite dark mark in its place. It's been a few years since I got this mole removed and although the mark got lighter, I can still see a faint spot there.
I thought it was really worth it to get my moles removed. The mole removal process wasn't complicated and the post-procedure healing was not much different from caring for wounds you get from falling off a bike.
Last updated: August 28, 2011
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