Mole removal in Los Angeles
Birthmarks can occur at birth or develop in the immediate period after birth. Some birthmarks are vascular, tumor like, or sebaceous in origin. Birthmarks can be removed when a child is in its infancy, whereas others may be removed in adulthood. Congenital vascular malformationss can be classified through a 'Primary Classification' which defines them as arterial malformations, venous malformations, arteriovenous malformations, lymphatic malformations, capillary malformations, and combined vascular malformations. 'Anatomic subclassification of vascular malformations includes extratruncal forms, truncular forms, aplastic, hypoplastic, or hyperplastic.
Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is a specialist in plastic surgery and can help you decide what is best for your child or for yourself if you are dealing with a birthmark or mole. Examination and consultation is key to obtaining the diagnosis.
Mole Removal Options:
There are many different ways to remove a mole and a lot depends on the location of the mole, the type of mole present, whether there is a risk of cancer, and the overall aesthetic results needed. Some moles are located in the epidermis, while others are centrally located with the deeper layers of the dermis or even the subcutaneous tissue. Dr. Karamanoukian will carefully review your medical and cosmetic needs and reconcile the possible options to achieve the best possible results. Mole removal options include surgical excision, shave biopsy, incisional biopsy, excisional biopsy, and hyfrecation. Surgical excision is not always the best option in certain sensitive parts of the body, whereas a shave biopsy may have additional risks and benefits.
Dr. Karamanoukian now offers laser mole removal in his Santa Monica office. Laser mole removal is an excellent choice if you have a cosmetic concern with a mole and are worried about scarring. A laser can literally vaporize the dark component of a mole and make a brown mole disappear. Lasers can also be useful for vascular moles, including port wine stains, angiomas, and hemangiomas.
Mole Removal around the Eyes:
Moles around the eyelashes and eyelids can cause a great deal of distress in patients who are constantly irritated by the mole that is growing around the eyelashes or on the eyelid itself. These moles are seldom dangerous, but a rare group of skin tumors of oil gland origin may require more aggressive surgery. In most cases, a quick surgical exicsion performed under local anesthesia can help remove the mole for good. If you are concerned about scarring, the eyelid and eyelash areas are not particularly prone to deep scarring or thickening after surgery. A surgical mole biopsy is all that is required in most cases for moles and skin tags that arise in the eyelid areas.
Mole Removal for Sunspots and Age spots:
Sun spots and age spots are often termed lentigenes and occur as light beige to light brown stains on the skin of the face and body. Sun exposed areas are particularly prone to the development of age spots. In our office, we use a combination protocol that includes application of retinoid creams (Replenish CX), Melarase, and Q switch lasers or IPL photofacial (Limelight) to help reduce the appearance of lentigenes. IPL photofacial treatments with the Limelight system work very well to reduce pigmentation and uneven spots.
A Shave biopsy is a surgical procedure to remove a skin specimen so that it can be sent to a pathologist for evaluation. During the local anesthetic procedure, a small amount of lidocaine is injected into the wound to anesthetize the area. Following the anesthetic, a small surgical blade is used to remove the skin lesion by shaving the top layer off of the skin. Most biopsies are performed without pain or discomfort. The specimen is then sent for evaluation and the patient is sent home with a small bandaid on the surgical site. Very little aftercare or recovery is needed after this type of mole removal. In most cases, a shave biopsy is typically not the first choice in cosmetic mole removal. It is meant as a biopsy technique that minimizes the potential for stitches or recovery.
A quick note about shave biopsy scars. Patients who have undergone overly aggressive shave biopsies by other surgeons often come to our Santa Monica plastic surgery office for evaluation of the shave biopsy scars. Dr. Karamanoukian specializes in scar revision, and has special expertise in the management and correction of textural and hypopigmentation scars associated with a shave biopsy. Often, options include ablative and/or non ablative lasers, followed by sublation therapy.
Punch Biopsy for Mole Removal:
Mole Removal for Basal Cell Skin Cancer
Some skin cancers can occur on sun exposed areas and the most common of these skin cancers is known as basal cell carcinoma. A basal cell carcinoma arises in a special part of the skin and can grow over time or rapidly on sun exposed and non-sun exposed areas of the face, chest, back, and arms. Less common areas of the body include areas that do not get as much chronic sun exposure.
The following photograph of a basal cell cancer on the skin is of a special basal cell known as a superficial spreading basal cell carcinoma. Unlike a nodular type of skin cancer, which grows as a small nodule above and below the skin, the superficial variant grows on the surface of the skin, without spreading deeply in the initial phase of growth.
The photograph of a basal cell cancer below demonstrates what a typical nodular type of basal cell carcinoma looks like. There are many variations in the appearance of a basal cell cancer and mole removal options can help in early identification and diagnosis of benign moles and bad skin cancers.
Mole Removal FAQ:
Q: What is a mole?
A: There are many variations of a mole on the body. Most people refer to a dark or discolored spot on the skin as a mole. However, variations include skin cancers, skin tags, benign spots, sunspots, age spots, and vascular birthmarks.
Q: Can I have a laser procedure for mole removal?
A: Newer technologies now allow benign moles and birthmarks to be removed with a laser. Dr. Karamanoukian uses four different types of laser treatments to remove moles. Each of these laser treatments differ in terms of the wavelength of energy used and the amount of downtime after the laser treatment. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Karamanoukian will examine your mole and provide you with the best treatment option available.
Q: Are some moles dangerous?
A: Everyone has a finite risk of a melanoma or melanomatous transformation of a mole. There are signs that can alert a physician to an abnormal mole in the skin. These signs have been simplified through a system that skin specialists label "The ABCD's" of mole removal. The most concerning signs of malignant transformation in a mole include A: Asymmetry; B: Border irregularity; C: Color variegation; and D: Diameter more than a pencil eraser. If you meet one or more of these criteria, you should schedule an appointment with a doctor.