Laser mole removal is one of several techniques that can be performed to get rid of moles on the face and body. It is not the most commonly used method, nor is it generally the most cost-effective, but laser surgery does offer benefits over excision and cauterization in some cases. People who have multiple small, flat, dark moles are usually the best candidates for laser mole removal. The procedure is nearly painless and most patients see excellent results after one to three laser treatments. It is important when considering surgery to schedule an exam with a dermatologist who can inspect the blemish and offer a professional opinion about the best way to remove it.
Most moles are removed through excision surgery, which involves using a scalpel to dig an entire blemish out of the skin. The resulting wound is often cauterized with a hot electric probe to minimize scarring. It is still likely that a small scar will result, however, which makes some patients and surgeons weary of performing excision on the face. Laser mole removal usually leaves behind no scars, making it a good alternative when there are concerns about aesthetics. In addition, it is more practical to use a laser when multiple moles need to be removed at a time.
Laser mole removal typically takes about half an hour and can be performed in a dermatologist's office or at a cosmetic surgery center. A trained surgeon sterilizes the mole and surrounding skin and prepares the handheld laser device. The laser is then carefully aimed at the mole and activated. High-intensity pulsating beams dissolve the outermost layers of skin tissue and cauterize the underlying blood vessels. Most patients do not feel any pain during laser mole removal, though there may be slight tingling sensations.
A single laser treatment is sufficient to remove very small moles, but larger, darker spots often require repeat visits to the surgical center. A patient might need to schedule between two and and five weekly treatments before optimal results are achieved. While it is usually possible to remove a mole without causing scarring, the procedure may leave behind a small, red spot that persists for several days or weeks. It is important to protect the delicate area with a bandage for the first few days after treatment. After the bandage is taken off, using sunscreen and protective clothing can help ensure the skin heals quickly.