Let’s face it, not everyone’s mole looks like Cindy Crawford’s. But undergoing surgery is often unnecessary and can leave large, unsightly scars. At Vamp we offer laser removal for benign lesions using our CO2RE CO2 laser.
What are the benefits of CO2 laser for benign lesion removal?
CO2 laser is the gold standard for skin rejuvenation due to its ability to induce tissue remodelling which involves production of new collagen and elastin in the epidermal and dermal layers. It’s also a very useful tool for removal of skin lesions using an unfractionated setting.
The laser emits a focused beam of energy, which basically vaporises a very thin layer of tissue, allowing us to completely and precisely remove the unwanted lesion, leaving the surrounding tissue intact.
When surgically removing moles, a doctor will generally cut an ellipse about 3 times the size of the lesion to allow for closure with sutures. This often forms a thickened, noticeable scar that is larger than the original lesion.
The precision of the laser allows us to only remove the desired tissue, and the regenerative benefits using CO2 laser means any scarring is minimal and much closer to the appearance of the surrounding skin. Often there will be no scar at all.
The laser seals off any blood vessels so there is generally no bleeding, which also means the infection risk is much lower than surgical removal.
What skin lesions are appropriate for laser removal?
Dr Monique and Dr Jake are both fully-qualified GPs and will be able to assess the lesions at the time of the consult. Anything that is remotely suspicious of skin cancer will be referred for further examination or biopsy.
The CO2RE is otherwise suitable to remove a large variety of skin lesions. Here are some examples of just a few:
- Seborrheic keratoses
- Skin tags
- Solar keratoses
- Sebaceous hyperplasia
Benign lesions that are unsuitable include those that are under the skin, such as lipomas or larger dermofibromas.
Does laser mole removal hurt?
Each pulse of the laser feels like a hot prickling sensation and is generally quite tolerable without any numbing. For larger lesions or if a patient prefers, we can inject a small amount of local anaesthetic into the skin to numb the area.
Each lesion can be completely removed within a matter of seconds.
How many treatments will I need?
Generally, only one treatment is required. If the lesion re-appears, we can re-treat at no additional cost up to 6 months from the treatment date.
What is the down time?
There is no downtime. You can return to your usual activities immediately, but be sure to keep the area clean and free of make-up for the next 2-3 days.
The area treated will produce a thin scab over the following days, which will fall off after about a week. You might find the area is a light pink colour, while new tissue is regenerating. This lightens up over a few weeks and will continue to improve in appearance over the next 6 months.
It is important to keep the area protected from the sun during this healing time.
Who isn’t suitable for laser mole removal?
People with a history of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, would need to be treated very cautiously. The doctor will assess each patient and lesion on a case by case basis.
Similarly, people prone to keloid scarring or abnormal wound healing, those with diseases stimulated by heat or light, or taking photosensitising medications will need to discuss risks and benefits with the doctor.
Darker skin types (Fitzpatrick IV to VI) are at higher risk of hyperpigmentation (darkening of the area) or hypopigmentation (loss of pigment in the area) with this laser, but still generally less than surgical treatment.
How much does it cost?
This depends on the number of lesions treated. Generally, the initial treatment cost of one lesion is $280, and for each further lesion (2-5) an additional $50. From 6-10 is $40, and >10 as $30 additional. There is no cost for a consultation and quote from the doctor, and no obligation to go ahead with treatment on the day if you do not wish to.