Laser Mole Treatment

...and skin tags and other lumps and bumps* with CO2 Laser

 
*fancy-named things like syringomas, xanthelasma, trichoepitheliomas, seborrheic keratosis, keratocanthomas, acrochordons, melanocytic nevi, congenital nevi, and a lot more.
 
I have never regretted having it done (laser for skin tags 7 years ago). I was becoming self-conscious of them. They have never recurred. Dr. Kritzinger is professional and expert in his field. JF, 57, Newmarket*
 

Great service from start to finish. I can't say enough. Very clean office, friendly staff, wonderful doc. The treatment was fast, painfree, with great results. The whole mole was gone with one treatment and very very minimal scarring. I'm very happy and I'm telling everyone. Thank you.
JP, 43, Aurora*
 

I was very pleased with the knowledge of all staff involved, all were very helpful. The procedure was quick & almost painless. I followed the healing instructions and healed very well. I am very pleased with my post-treatment results. I would not hesitate to use lasers again. Very pleased with my entire experience.
AL, 44, Sutton*
 

I was in and had some moles and skin tags removed. I was extremely pleased with the outcome. There were no scars at all. Thanks again.
LL, 62, Pefferlaw*

*Results may vary.



laser mole removal

Before and After one CO2 laser session*

laser mole removal on face
 
laser mole removal pictures One laser treatment* laser mole removal face
 
mole removal treatment

This is what it looks like immediately after a laser mole treatment. The small wound usually takes less than a week to heal.*

laser treatment to remove moles
 
how to remove a mole * removing skin moles
*Results may vary.

 

Questions and Answers

 

How does the laser work?

The Luxar CO2 laser emits a very thin, very focused, and very powerful beam of infrared light that destroys the tissue at which it is aimed. The depth of penetration of the laser beam can be adjusted from about one cell layer to about a quarter of a millimeter. Basically, the mole can be vaporized one thin layer at a time while causing minimal damage to surrounding tissue. This precision allows for the treatment of moles with a low risk of scarring.

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What skin lesions can be treated using lasers?

We can treat moles and many other skin lesions using our CO2 laser including skin tags, seborrheis keratosis, xanthelasma, syringomas, and more. These fancy words likely mean nothing to you. Just think of any skin lump or bump as being a potential target. This laser can treat almost all of them (there are exceptions).
 
It doesn't treat lumps and bumps under the skin, such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts.
 
Please note that we don’t treat warts.


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How much does it hurt?

For tiny moles, no anesthetic is used. You will feel some sharp, hot, prickly pain. This is easily tolerated by most people. 

For larger moles local anesthetic is used (tiny needle to freeze it). Once it is frozen, you will feel no pain during treatment.

You can also pre-treat the area with numbing cream (EMLA, Lidomax, Maxilene). It is slow to act, so it must be applied an hour before treatment and left in place until immediately prior to treatment. We have numbing cream available for purchase.

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Is laser treatment permanent?

Most treated moles will not return. However, one of the goals of treatment is to minimize the chances of a scar. Therefore, an attempt is made to leave the underlying skin as uninjured as possible. This means that some of the mole might be left behind, and it can regrow. This is uncommon. If this does occur, the next treatment will have to be more aggressive, and a scar is more likely to form. You will have traded a mole for a scar.

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What is the risk of scarring?

Scars form with all skin injuries. Many of them are not visible because the injury was mild. The risk of scarring goes up with the degree of injury. The deeper or wider the injury, the greater the risk of a scar.

The goal of laser treatment of skin lesions is to destroy the lesion and minimize the skin injury. The skin lesion is vaporized one thin layer at a time. When the mole has been destroyed down to the level of normal skin, the treatment is finished. Skin injury is minimal and so is the scar. Judging this is an art, not a science. Normal skin can be injured with a resulting visible scar.

In some cases scarring is unavoidable because of the nature of the mole. It may be large and deep. You will trade a mole for a scar.

The other factor to consider is your body’s response to skin injury. Some people tend to heal well. Others are prone to scars.

Scars can be flat, indented, or raised. They are almost always white, although darker-skinned people are more prone to making pigmented scars.

Keloids are a special kind of scar. These scars extend past the border of the injury and grow over healthy skin. They can be very large and unsightly. Some people a prone to them. Some parts of the body are more prone than others. Most people are aware if they have a tendency to make keloids. These people are at risk for keloid formation even with the precision of the laser.

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Can I do anything to reduce the risk of scarring even more?

There is a firmly held belief that wounds should be kept dry. In fact, we now know that the opposite is true. Wound healing is improved in a moist environment. The easiest way to keep a wound moist is to use ointments (like Polysporin) that lock in the body's moisture (after all, the human body is 75% water). You can also use silicone-based gel or pads. We have Skin Medica Scar Recovery gel that can further reduce the risk of scarring.

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How many treatments will be required?

Most commonly, only one treatment is required. However, as noted above, some of the mole might survive and need a second treatment.
 
Of course, if you have a lot of moles, it might require a few sessions to treat all of them.
 
In a typical fifteen minute session, about 5 average-sized moles can be treated. Dozens of small lesions can be treated.


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At what intervals are treatments repeated?

If you are having new territory treated, you can have sessions back-to-back. Most people space sessions weekly.
 
If a mole requires a second treatment, because it has not been completely removed, this is done three to four weeks later when healing is complete and residual mole can be seen.
 
Rarely, a mole seems to have been removed, but it comes back. This might take months or even years.


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What skin colors can be treated?

All skin colours can be treated, but darker skin is at higher risk of pigment problems.

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Should I avoid the sun before and after treatment?

Sun exposure can lead to pigmentation problems, but this is not common. It is advisable to reduce sun exposure following treatment. Generally, all that is required is for you to use sunscreen and a hat. (You should be doing this anyway, since all sun exposure causes skin damage.)

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How long do treatments take?

Sessions are 15 to 30 minutes.

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What are the risks of laser treatment?

There will be some pain as described above. Swelling, redness, itching, mild soreness, scabs, and oozing are normal for a few days. The intense light delivered produces burning. Scarring can occur following a burn. Scar formation is not predictable. Keloids can form. (See "What is the Risk of Scarring?")

Infection can occur in the injured skin.

Skin color changes can occur. This can be increased pigmentation or decreased pigmentation. Pigment changes may be permanent.

The laser can injure your eyes. This would be about the same as scatching your eye and is very unlikely to result in a defect of your vision. Nonetheless, metal goggles will be provided for complete protection.

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Does laser treatment increase my risk for skin cancer?

Absolutely not. The wavelength of light used is in the infrared range. This is at the opposite end of the spectrum from ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays which are all capable of causing cancer. Infrared light does not cause cancer.

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How do you know the mole isn’t cancerous?

Some moles might be cancerous. There are several features of moles that doctors look for to determine whether or not they are cancerous: multiple colours, irregular or hazy borders, rapid change/growth, spontaneous bleeding*, lesions on palms and soles, black lesions, and “black sheep lesions” (moles that look different from all your other moles). However, even the best dermatologist will miss 10% of melanomas when inspecting moles.
 
Laser is not the correct treatment for melanoma or any other skin cancer. Suspicious moles should be biopsied then excised if they are cancerous. We do not provide this service. You should see your family doctor.
 

*There is a popular misconception that if you cause a mole to bleed it will turn cancerous. This is untrue. Cancerous moles can bleed with no trauma or minimal trauma, because they are made of weak abnormal tissue. This is the only connection between bleeding and moles.

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What can I expect following treatment?

You will have some superficial burns that will be a bit irritating. They feel more like scratches than burns.

Larger moles will need Polysporin and bandaids. Smaller lesions will have only Polysporin ointment applied.

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How long will healing take?

You will have a minor burn following treatment that will take about a week to heal. You will need to protect the injury for 3-5 days with a bandaid and Polysporin ointment.

The wound will be slightly red for several weeks.
 
All skin wounds, including laser wounds, require three to six months for the healing process to be complete. 


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What are my restrictions after treatment?

None. You can return to your daily activities as usual. All you have to do is keep the wounds clean.

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Does OHIP cover the cost of laser treatments?

No. These moles are being removed for cosmetic reasons.

If a mole needs to be removed or biopsied because there is a suspicion of cancer, the cost is covered by OHIP. We do not provide this service. Laser is not an appropriate method to treat cancerous lesions because there is no way to know if it has been completely removed. This requires excision and examination under a microscope.

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Does extended health insurance cover the cost of laser treatments?

Probably not. Check with your insurer.
 

 

Is laser mole treatment eligible for Health Spending Accounts or tax credits?

Most health spending accounts allow you to use the funds for any service performed by a physician. Laser mole treatment should qualify.  Check with your human resources department to make sure.

As of March 2010, medical services that are purely for cosmetic purposes ceased to qualify for the medical tax credit.

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How do I book an appointment?

Just call (905) 853-3200.

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What is your cancellation policy?

We require 48 hours notice for cancellation of your consultation or treatment, in order to fill the appointment time. If sufficient notice is not given, the full value of the treatment to be done may be charged. The minimum charge for a missed appointment or late cancellation is $100 (one hundred dollars).

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