Mole Removal: Home Care after the Procedure

Mole removal is usually a minimally invasive procedure that requires little attention during recovery. Still, if you don't follow your doctor's instructions, you may increase your risk for developing a noticeable scar or an infection after the procedure.

Keep Incision Covered with a Bandage

Post-mole removal, you should keep the treated area covered with a bandage (changed once to twice a day) for between one to two weeks, depending on your doctor's instructions. Your doctor will ask that you avoid soaking the area with water during this period (so no baths and no swimming). You may, however, be able to pat-clean the area with a lightly-soaked cloth once a day or so. Keeping the wound covered and dry will help keep the wound from becoming infected.

Put on Ointment

Some, but not all, methods of mole removal will actually ask you to keep the wound moist during recovery--but only with antibiotic ointment. This is typically the case if your wound has been held together with stitches. Your doctor will want to avoid having a scab grow over the stitches, so keeping the area moist with oitnment until you have your stitches removed four to seven days later can prevent this from happening.

Allow Scab to Form

Over the first week or two after mole removal (or beginning after you've had your stitches removed), your skin will begin to form a scab. It's essential that you continue to cover this area with a bandage and don't pick at the scab. Let the scab fall off naturally. This will decrease your chances of visible scarring and infection.

Your individual post-mole removal instructions may vary slightly depending on the method of removal your doctor used. However, all methods should ask you to keep the area clean and dry (except in the case of ointment as necessary). Just be warned that even if you follow these instructions, you may be left with some scarring.

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