Moles, also known as nevi, are a common type of growth on the skin. They often appear on the face or body and can vary in size, shape and colour. Some moles are flat, while others can have a raised appearance. Moles generally appear during childhood and adolescence but some appear at or near birth and are referred to as ‘birthmarks’. Most people have 10 to 45 moles, almost all of which appear before age 40. There are many different types of moles including junctional, compound, intradermal and congential moles. Most moles are harmless. Rarely, they become cancerous. If you notice a change in colour, size or shape, then you should have it checked by a doctor as these could be signs of something more serious.
A cyst is a sac filled with fluid or semi-fluid material under the skin. Cysts develop in various places in the body and arise from different tissues in the body. They are most often found on the face, neck and trunk. They usually grow slowly and are not painful. They may be cause for concern, but most of them are harmless. However, cancerous cysts do occur, so have any growth that is causing you pain or increasing in size checked by a doctor. Cysts can become inflamed and cause redness and discomfort. Sometimes they may become infected and form painful abscesses.
A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that’s most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. The cause of lipomas is not completely understood, but the tendency to develop them is inherited. They are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or more lipomas may be present at the same time. Lipomas aren’t cancer and are usually harmless. They occur in all age groups but most often appear in middle age. Often the most bothersome symptoms is the location or increased size that makes the lipoma noticeable by others.
A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon is a tiny, benign, outpouching of skin that often grows in the groin area, armpit, neck and eyelid. One person may have anywhere from one to over 100 skin tags. Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their life. Skin tags can be observed in about 25% of adults. Studies have shown a genetic predisposition to the development of skin tags. They can also be associated with obesity.
After a thorough consultation with Dr. Doumit, he will carefully examine you, discuss the best method of removal and explain the treatment in details. Prior to any treatment, a topical or local anaesthetic will be administered. Apart from the local anaesthetic injection used to numb the area, during which you may feel a little prick and sting for a few seconds, you should not feel any discomfort. After the anesthesia, the area will be cleansed well and the procedure will then begin.
Fortunately, there are fast and straightforward procedures for Mole removal, Cyst, Lipoma and Skin tag removal. The following are some of the surgical techniques used by Dr. Doumit:
A dermablade is used to remove a mole or skin tag parallel to the surface of the skin. This leaves a small superficial wound which may need cauterisation to stop any bleeding. The skin wound from a tangential excision procedure does not need stitches. The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes. Healing takes about 1 to 2 weeks. All surgical skin procedures produce a scar, but the tangential excision, with electrosurgical smoothing of the wound edges, can produce a less noticeable scar that blends well into the surrounding skin. This is a method that is mainly used to remove moles or skin tags.
This is a procedure that involves a deep excision that removes a lesion completely. The ellipse is often designed so that the resulting scar runs parallel with existing skin creases. This usually provides a wound under less tension and orients the scar in a direction which is less noticeable to the eye. The resulting wound requires stitches which can either be dissolvable or non-dissolvable depending on the site of removal. The treatment takes about 30 minutes. Generally, it is a method to remove deep moles, lipomas and cysts.
Electrosurgery involves using a low-powered medical apparatus called a hyfrecator to destroy tissue directly, and to stop bleeding during minor surgery. It works by emitting low-power high-frequency high-voltage AC electrical pulses, via an electrode mounted on a handpiece, directly to the lesion to be treated. This leaves a small superficial wound. The treatment takes only a few minutes. The hyfrecator has a large number of uses, such as removal of skin tags, warts, moles, and some other types of skin lesions.
Laser ablation is a newer, less-invasive technique that uses a laser which produces a very thin, highly-focused beam of infrared light that vaporizes everything that it strikes. The laser strategically removes one thin layer at a time with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. This incredibly precise procedure decreases the level of scarring and can be used for benign moles, warts and skin tags.
There is no downtime after the procedure. Patients can return to day-to-day activities immediately following the treatment. A dressing is applied for 24 hours to keep the wound clean. Vaseline is recommended to be applied at the wounds until it heals or stiches are removed. Specific post treatment instruction will be advised and given. When the treatment is completed and the anaesthetic effect wears off, slight discomfort may be experienced, but most patients don’t need to take any pain killers. If stitches are applied, you will be scheduled to come back for their removal in 1-2 weeks.
With any cosmetic surgery procedure, there are potential side-effects such as infection, bleeding and scarring. Fortunately, with the mole, cyst, lipoma or skin tag removal, the risks are very low and they are safe and simple procedures.
Tired of your mole, cyst, lipoma or skin tag (s)? If yes, call today for a consultation with Dr. Doumit to discuss the different treatment methods that may be right for you.