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Let’s face it: anytime your face looks “unique” or less than “normal,” it can be embarrassing. This is especially true for men and women in the Knoxville area who have moles on their face or other prominently displayed areas of their bodies. Looking different from others can make these men and women feel self-conscious about their faces and bodies. And nobody wants to feel like that!
In fact, a mole (or “nevus” in doctor-speak) is one of the most common reasons that Knoxville residents seek treatment from their dermatologists or family physicians. Moles can be unsightly or embarrassing depending on their location and many patients with unsightly moles choose to have them removed. Additionally, almost all of us have been educated to know that moles can pose health risks, too.
If you have a mole anywhere on your body, one of the most important questions to answer prior to having it removed is whether the lesion in question represents a skin cancer, or is just a benign (not dangerous) growth. Any lesion that has recently changed – whether it is an increase in size, a change in shape, or a change in color – should be biopsied to ensure that the lesion does not represent a skin cancer before being removed. This is for your overall safety, as skin cancer can be a dangerous condition that requires additional treatment.
Below is an excellent chart which shows the difference between benign “moles” and malignant skin cancers – in this case, melanoma. When looking at any skin lesion, remember your “A, B, C, D, E’s!”
For a mole that has any of these characteristics or is otherwise suspicious, it is best to have the lesion biopsied before removal to ensure it is not a melanoma (or another form of skin cancer) that would require more extensive treatment. While the telltale signs of a changing mole may give you clues that it may be cancerous, it’s impossible for you to know for sure if it is dangerous unless you have it biopsied. Anytime you have a mole, even if you are uncertain whether your mole may be cancerous, please make an appointment with our office or see your dermatologist or primary care doctor and have it evaluated. Knoxville patients with moles should also have annual skin evaluations to confirm that their lesions have not changed over time.
While it’s very common for Knoxville patients with moles to want them removed, unfortunately, many have been advised against doing so because the “scar” that mole removal would leave is considered to be worse than the actual mole itself. However, that’s not always the case. Dr. Hall sees patients from Knoxville and throughout the United States almost every day that have benign moles that they would like removed, most of them on the face.
Many dermatology offices routinely use liquid nitrogen to treat moles and other small skin lesions. While this can be an effective in removing the lesion, they can leave unsightly white spots that are difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate completely. Other times, moles are cut out, leaving a telltale scar where they used to be. However, Dr. Hall provides a different, unique service for patients with moles that can eliminate these pigmentation spots without leaving a scar.
Radiowave surgery is a new technology (although not really – it’s been around for over 30 years) that uses radiowaves to effectively vaporize tissue layer by layer. When used to remove skin lesions, the mole is, effectively, slowly melted away! Unlike other methods of removing unsightly moles, radiowave surgery requires no incisions and heals much like a rug-burn would – without a scar in most cases.
Mole removal with radiowave surgery is a simple procedure that can be performed in minutes in our Knoxville office with no incisions, no sutures, and almost no discomfort. It is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure that can not only remove a mole but also boost your confidence.
Because of the gentle nature of radiowave surgery, multiple moles can be treated at the same time.
At your office visit, Dr. Hall will examine the lesion first. If there is any suspicion that the lesion may be a skin cancer, he will perform a biopsy. Assuming the lesion is benign, a small amount of anesthetic will be injected just below the mole to numb it. Under magnification, the mole is then vaporized layer-by-layer utilizing radiowave technology until it is completely removed.
The treated area is then covered with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. Over the course of the next 7-10 days, this area will heal much as a rug-burn does and temporarily become a small pink spot. Once the skin has healed, it can be covered with makeup to conceal it completely. At your follow-up visit a few weeks after your initial procedure, it is often difficult to determine exactly where the mole originally was!
Since so many other doctors discourage mole removal on the face due to the scars that other mole removal techniques leave, Dr. Hall has patients who travel from across the country to have their moles removed using radiowave surgery because of the nearly “scarless” results that this technology provides. With such a following throughout the country, Dr. Hall’s patients have absolute confidence in his ability to remove their mole without leaving a scar.
If you have any questions about whether or not you may be a candidate for mole removal with Knoxville plastic surgeon, Dr. Hall, or if you would like to meet with Dr. Hall to discuss your options, call 865.973.9500 or use our contact form and request an appointment. For out of town patients, feel free to request an online consult via Skype.