Facial nevi, also referred to as moles or “birthmarks”, are benign lesions on our skin that are rarely a cause for concern. They are typically brown or black and can be present since birth or develop over time. Many patients are not bothered by their appearance and no intervention is required. Sometimes however, these lesions can be unsightly or in prominent locations that draw attention away from the rest of our face. They can even be irritating or uncomfortable which prompts the patient to seek care. In these cases, patients can elect to have the lesions removed.
With any lesion on our skin, it is of utmost importance to ensure that it is not cancerous or cause for concern. Dr. Hall, along with the experts at Golden State Dermatology, is well versed in the various skin conditions and their treatment. If there is any concern, the lesion will be sent for pathological analysis.
Common skin conditions that can be treated include pre-cancerous lesions, nevi or moles, seborrheic keratosis, epidermoid cysts, sebaceous cysts, mucoceles, lipomas, skin tags and syringomas.
These lesions can be removed in the office with only local anesthesia. Patient’s go home the same day with minimal discomfort. If a patient prefers, or if the lesion is in a sensitive location, IV sedation can be utilized as well.
The size, shape and pathology of the lesion often dictates how it is removed. Most commonly, complete surgical excision is performed. This entails carefully orienting an incision along relaxed skin tension lines, the natural lines and creases of our body, which creates a scar that is barely perceptible once healed. The lesion is then completely excised and the wound is meticulously closed. This procedure takes anywhere from fifteen minutes to one hour.
Another option for removal of raised lesions in particular is shave excision. This entails slicing the lesion off so that it is flush or even with the surrounding skin. This often does not completely remove the lesion but can provide an excellent cosmetic result with no obvious scar.