Recovery after Mole Removal

Recovery after mole removal surgery is not as extensive or debilitating as you may think. Just be sure to follow the directions of your medical professional, who may instruct the following:

Type of Procedure

If your medical professional performs the mole removal with a laser or a burning tool, you will have a less involved recovery process than if she uses a scalpel, because the former typically does involve any incisions or skin breaking, while the latter does. Even if she uses a scalpel, though, you may or may not have sutures, which can affect your recovery. Nevertheless, you will most likely have sutures with complete scalpel excision.

Caring for Sutures

If the mole covered an extensive area and your medical professional used a scalpel, you will likely receive sutures to help keep the skin closed as it heals. The first type of suture is the basic thread-like suture that your medical professional will apply with a needle. If you have these types of sutures, you may be asked to keep the area moist only with antibiotic ointment for a period of about one week. This means that you will constantly have to reapply the ointment throughout the day (although you can leave it overnight) whenever the area is getting dry. This is to prevent skin from growing over the sutures before the sutures are removed at your next appointment, one week after the mole removal.

Your medical professional may instead choose to use liquid sutures, which act sort of like glue to hold the skin in place. These sutures will dissolve on their own after a few days and should require no different care than the other types of procedures.

Keeping the Wound Clean and Dry

Unless you have thread sutures in your wound, you will be instructed to keep the area dry, but clean. You may be asked to put some antibiotic ointment on the wound for the first few days, but not as consistently as when you have thread sutures. At first, your wound should be a little red and tender, but if the wound becomes painful to the touch or otherwise appears infected, contact your medical professional. You will be asked to cover the wound with a bandage and to be careful to avoid soaking it for very long when showering. (If possible, you should avoid getting it wet altogether, but not at the expense of not showering.) Avoiding soaking the wound applies with thread sutures as well.

One to Two Weeks of Minimal Care

You should keep the bandage over your wound for the period you are instructed, usually seven to fourteen days. During this time (unless you have thread sutures), the wound will begin to scab over. Do not irritate the scab and let it fall off naturally. Once the scab had flaked off (one to two weeks after the procedure), you can stop wearing a bandage over it and treat it like normal skin. You will likely be left with a scar in place of the blemish.

Some types of mole removal surgery require a more involved recovery process than others, but none should impact your life too much. Just be sure to keep the wound clean and apply ointments as instructed to prevent infection.

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