Do you have a mole or two, a lump under your skin, or an unsightly scar that jumps out at you every time you look in the mirror? Do you feel self-conscious that everyone’s staring at it?
If so then, yes, you should consider having your mole, cyst or lipoma removed. Unsightly skin lesions are easily removed in the hands of a skilled facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Macdonald. Regardless of health risks, many find these lumps and bumps unattractive and prefer they be removed.
If a scar is the eyesore you’re concerned about, once a scar is formed, it cannot be completely removed, but it can be improved.
See Dr. Macdonald about your options. Treatment is often provided the same day as your consultation. If so, your consultation fee is waived. Use the form to the right to request an appointment.
Common Types of Skin Lesions
There are many types of skin lesions or other such skin imperfections that you may be born with or acquire as you age. Most times, these skin lesions do not pose a health risk, but the appearance of them may still bother you.
In a minor in-office surgical procedure appointment, Dr. Macdonald is able to remove your unwanted skin lesions or revise unsightly scars. The most common skin lesion removal requests include those for:
- Subcutaneous sebaceous cysts
What is a Mole?
Moles are dark spots or small, irregular skin growths found anywhere on the body in varying shapes and sizes. The three main types of moles are:
- Raised moles: deeper moles that can be skin-colored or pigmented
- Flat moles: dark or pigmented spots in the skin
- Skin tags: skinny little “stalk-like” growths, usually skin colored
Moles are found singly or in clusters. They may exist from birth remaining unchanged as you age, or may appear over time. Moles and pigmented lesions are most prone to develop on highly sun-exposed areas of the face, neck, shoulders, chest, hands and arms.
Moles are not necessarily a health risk, but should be assessed periodically. Changes in the size, color (particularly turning darker) or texture of your moles may indicate cancerous or precancerous cells. The earlier you catch such abnormal skin cell growth, the more you can reduce any potentially dangerous health risks.
What is a Sebaceous Cyst?
A subcutaneous or sebaceous cyst is a non-cancerous abnormal growth that develops beneath the surface of the skin. These cysts are usually round, and composed of tissue, fluid, or other bodily materials (i.e., wax-like substance produced by the sebaceous glands).
When visible through the outer layer of skin, it can be removed for cosmetic reasons. Other times, it may be tender, growing or inflamed, requiring removal for pain relief.
What is a Lipoma?
A lipoma, also known as a fatty tumor, is a commonly seen benign tumor comprised of fat cells. Lipomas are usually painless and may have a whiteish to yellow appearance. Many appear just under the skin as a soft, movable lump. Sometimes the lump grows harder or larger over time.
They are commonly removed for aesthetic reasons or because they restrict movement, depending on their location. Dr. Macdonald can determine whether your lipoma is best removed by an in-office minor surgical excision procedure or by using liposuction. Use the form to the right to schedule a consultation with him and find out.
How are Moles, Cysts and Lipomas Removed?
Ensure particular care is given to both aesthetics and health. Seek the skills of a qualified facial plastic surgeon, like Dr. Macdonald, for removing moles or other lumps and bumps on any area of your face, neck or body.
With use of local and/or topical anesthetic, removal of a mole, skin tag, lipoma or cyst is pain-free. Depending on the number and type of lesions being removed, your appointment may last 15-45 minutes.
One of two methods may be used:
- Cutting away the lesion entirely via direct excision. The scar is oriented along relaxed skin tension lines and placed in a way that it will become almost invisible over time. Sutures are placed deep within the skin and/or on the surface. Surface stitches are removed within a few days of your procedure. The deeper stitches are left to dissolve over time.
- Burning away smaller moles or skin lesions can be accomplished with laser energy. This produces a small scar, but depending on the size of the mole, this scar usually heals to a small point.
Sometimes scars occur that are too large, wide or badly oriented so that they are noticeably unattractive. Once a scar forms, it cannot be completely removed but it can be improved.
The texture, surface and color of a scar can be improved via laser treatments. Tissue fillers may be used to fill in depressed scars (such as post-acne scars). Occasionally, however, a scar needs to be revised or reoriented to make it smaller and less conspicuous. In this case, the scar is carefully removed in its entirety, and closed again with meticulous technique.
To ensure best post-treatment wound healing, apply antibiotic ointment topically 3-4 times a day during the first week, followed by application of silicone-based scar gel. In patients who are prone to hypertrophic or keloid scars, additional injections of a catabolic steroid such as triamcinolone may be needed following the revision, to prevent recurrence.
Recovery from Skin Lesion Removal
For direct excision, stitches need to be removed within 5-7 days following the procedure. For laser removal, a scab often forms that can take a week to flake off. Antibiotic ointment should be applied 3-4 times a day during the first week after removal.
Usually, a reddish mark remains on the skin. Several weeks to months may go by before normal skin color returns. If discoloration persists long-term, broadband light laser therapy may be required.
To minimize any potential scarring, we recommend the use of Dermatix™ scar gel. Sun protection is also critical to reducing any remaining redness and preventing further discoloration in the treated area. You can find both of these skin healing and protective items among our skincare products.
After full healing, if any residual scarring exists, full or fractional resurfacing treatment can help improve the appearance of such scars.