For the most part, skin lesions and moles are harmless yet unsightly but can also cause irritation and could potentially be cancerous. Skin lesion and mole removal may be recommended by a surgeon to reduce any risk, or simply to improve appearance.
Patients will look towards skin lesion and mole removal either for cosmetic reasons, to improve appearance, or for medical reasons in cases where lesions cause discomfort, and there is concern that moles could be cancerous.
It is important to seek advice immediately if you have a pigmented lesion and there has been rapid or a recent change in size, shape or colour, inflammation, oozing and bleeding, or a change in sensation. Likewise, if the mole is new and there is rapid change.
If your surgeon performs a partial removal (shave biopsy), an incision will be made across the base of the lesion, almost shaving the lesion off of the skin. This technique is used primarily for
A direct removal involves the entirety of the lesion or mole cut out, along with some surrounding skin. The skin is then closed and stitched up (sometimes dissolvable stitches are used). The procedure takes between 30 minutes to an hour, dependent on the size of the lesion or mole.
Following surgery, minimal discomfort may be experienced, which can be managed with painkillers and extra care is to be taken to avoid getting the dressing wet.
If the skin has healed, the grafted area may be left exposed and moisturised to help with maturation and the final result. If the area has not healed, the graft will be redressed and left for another 5-7 days.
Wounds should clear and heal within a few weeks after the treatment, with stitches removed 7-14 days after the procedure (unless dissolvable options were used). The area should not be overly stretched for two weeks.
The wound should be kept out of the sun until it has completely healed, and then sun cream should be worn for 18-24 months over the affected areas as they will be prone to burning.
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