Most of us have a mole or two (or many more) and most of them stay concealed by clothing. But if you are like many other mole owners, the main question in your mind is probably about the best ways of removing moles from your face.
Moles on your face distract people you are talking to – you’ve probably noticed how their gaze wanders away from your eyes to focus on your mole. This may be OK if you’re pretty stunning to begin with, say like Marilyn Monroe. But I notice that somewhere along the way Madonna’s mole has disappeared.
So while having a mole on your face is probably not the worst thing that can happen to you, you will be far more comfortable when your face is mole free.
Before You Start, Make Sure Your Moles Aren’t Something More Sinister
Regardless of how you choose to remove moles from your face or anywhere else, please get them checked by a competent doctor or dermatologist. Most moles are harmless blemishes, but some may be cancerous or potentially so, and the very dangerous skin cancer melanoma often resembles a mole. Any suspicious mole should be removed surgically, and such treatments should be covered by medical insurance.
First Thoughts About Facial Mole Removal.
Facial moles can occur anywhere from the top of your forehead to your chin and your neck.
Removing moles from your face is no big deal. Whether you take the surgical option, or decide to remove your moles in the comfort and privacy of your home. Treatments are usually quick, involve little pain, and should be scar free.
For moles on most parts of your face, there is little difference between removal by a skilled surgeon, or careful removal at home.
But if you have a mole close to an eye or your lips, the surgical option may be preferable. Home remedies involve creams, pastes or oils which can burn or irritate sensitive skin and eyes, and the treatment could be worse than the problem.
Surgical mole removal is a very simple procedure, but requires quite a lot of skill and judgment by the surgeon. So find a good one.
A fine balance is required between making sure all the mole is removed, and minimizing the chance or amount of scarring. This is because some of the mole extends beneath the surface layers of the skin. Take too much and an unnecessarily large scar will result. Take too little and you may be back for another round if the mole regrows. It’s a little tricky, and even the best of doctors may not get everything the first time
Six main surgical options are available for mole removal, using five basic techniques – cutting, shaving, burning, freezing and laser surgery.
Cutting or excision is the only sensible option with suspicious moles and similar appearing melanomas. Both the mole and some surrounding tissue are removed under a local anesthetic. The success of the operation will have to be confirmed by pathological studies and there should be no regrowth. The wound will be closed with stitches, and you may have to return to have them removed. A thin scar will result, but makeup is your friend and the scar will fade over a few months.
Smaller moles may be removed by plug biopsy – a local anesthetic is given and the mole is removed with a tool like a micro cookie cutter. The wound is closed, mostly with a single stitch. This procedure is usually used on normal moles, although the mole is often sent away for pathology. Scarring is minimal.
Shaving, laser surgery and the less frequently used burning (electrocautery) all work best on flatter moles, and the treatment is usually restricted to the surface layers of the skin. They should not leave a scar, although temporary redness may result. Because the treatment does not penetrate far into the skin, mole regrowth may occur in up to 25% of cases, and you may require follow up treatment.
Freezing, using liquid nitrogen, has a similar long term success rate. The mole is frozen, destroying it and leaving a temporary scab which soon drops off. Try to resist the temptation to pull the scab off before it’s ready, because this is probably the main cause of scarring.
Most of these treatments are effective on moles anywhere on your face, but your doctor will advise you about what’s most appropriate.
The main disadvantage of surgery is that it is expensive, particularly if several visits are necessary. Unless the mole is cancerous, your insurance company will probably regard the operation as cosmetic surgery, and you will have to pay the full amount yourself.
Home remedies range from commercial creams you can buy from your drug store, department store or online, to a bewildering number of treatments using natural products and plants which you may have around your home.
They vary in cost, but even the over the counter preparations are much less costly than the surgical alternatives.
Many of the home treatments may be OK for concealed moles, but a lot of them may not be the best option for removing moles from your face. They include treatment that take a long time, or require somewhat weird methods such as covering the mole with a banana skin.
Many of the simpler remedies are unproven, and may require frequent applications over a long period of time.
So let’s leave out the doubtful methods.
There are two main forms of treatment – a few applications of some powerful products, or constant and regular treatments over a few days or weeks with less irritating plant or mineral ingredients.
Most commercial products are based on sap from plants which burns or dissolves the mole, after which it will drop off. These are based on older home remedies, and are very effective. However they should be used with care, and may not be appropriate for moles near the eyes and mouth.
The best of these include Wart Mole Vanish which requires one or two applications of a paste to the mole. After the paste has been in contact with the mole for 15 – 20 minutes it must be removed, otherwise normal skin can be damaged.
The mole will soon change into a scab, which will fall off in a few days – bigger moles take longer. This is powerful stuff, and it is very important to follow the directions exactly. Don’t be tempted to use more than recommended – you only want to destroy your mole, not the good skin around and under it.
It might be worthwhile trying out these treatments on a small hidden mole first.
If that sound a bit drastic, more gentle treatments involve plant oils or less caustic substances. One very effective method combines castor oil and baking soda, applied three times a day until the mole drops off.
Sounds simple, but the key is in the treatment rather than the ingredients.
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