Cosmetic mole removal requires vast experience and superior surgical technique. Mole removal work-up involves a thorough exam including the characteristics of the mole and whether or not the mole possesses attributes that may imply the potential for malignancy. Also, there are many different ways to remove moles. Dr. Mueller uses a specialized technique using radio-wave technology and occasionally CO2 laser to remove benign moles. This technique results in little to no scarring and is performed in most instances with no sutures.
Patients should continually monitor their moles and other growths / spots for color, size and behavior changes. If you have any head, face and / or neck moles that you are concerned about, please make an appointment with Dr. Mueller to have them evaluated. If you have benign moles that you wish to have removed, Dr. Mueller can remove them easily and with little to no scarring. Although a mole may appear benign, Dr. Mueller biopsies them to assure that there is no malignancy.
Types of “bumps” include benign moles, skin tags, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Many basal cells look like benign moles but can spread under the skin. This is why biopsy is important. If a basal cell is diagnosed, Dr. Mueller is very skilled in the cosmetic removal of these potentially destructive lesions. If Dr. Mueller is suspicious of a mole, he may elect to biopsy part of the mole prior to full removal. This is important, because if it does turn out to be a basal cell carcinoma, a portion of the lesion is left behind to mark its location for definitive planning for removal with proper margins.
If there is a procedure that requires an incision and sutures, the scar may be treated at a later time with the CO2 laser if needed.
The procedure is usually performed with topical gel and local anesthesia. After the mole is removed, the skin is dressed with antibiotic ointment. This ointment is re-applied for three days and the skin will regenerate within 5 – 7 days. The skin will remain pink for about two weeks, but can be covered with makeup after about 6 days. Once the skin has completely healed and the pink resolves, it is usually difficult to tell where the mole was originally.
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN) is a benign skin condition that manifests as black or brown papules on the skin that are flat and raised from the surface. These mole-like bumps are usually between 1-5mm in size. They are typically seen on the cheeks, forehead, neck and torso. For some patients, DPN occurs as moles under the eyes.
Dermatologists are not clear as to the exact causes Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra. One possibility is that that the pilosebaceous follicle does not develop properly. Also, it is likely to be linked to a genetic predisposition. Research shows that 40-50% of patients have a family history of this condition.
Treatment for DPN
There are several different treatments for DPN. Either a 1064nm or a 940nm laser have been used as well as Radiowave ablation. Dr. Mueller prefers to use radiowave surgery for its ease of use and exceptional results. The procedure can be performed either with topical or traditional local anesthesia, depending on the number of papules. IV anesthesia is also available when large numbers of papules are treated.
In many instances, DPNs heal completely without scar formation, but in some cases, there is still a very faint color difference with the normal skin. Even with this faint color difference, all patients have been very pleased with the results.
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra has three levels of severity:
- Mild- less than 10 papules
- Moderate-more than 10 papules
- Severe-more than 50 papules
This skin condition occurs in about 35% of the black population and an unknown percentage of Asians. Women are usually affected more than men. Symptoms are apparent starting in adolescence. With age, the papules increase in number and size.