If you want a mole removed with a laser, the mole might grow back.

Traditionally, the idea is that a laser beam will penetrate the mole’s surface area to disintegrate any abnormal cells, and the expectation is that any remaining cells will be absorbed by the body.

But there’s a problem: Laser light can rejuvenate skin cells, and this includes mole cells.

In fact, not only can laser treatment cause moles to grow back, but it can also cause a regrowth of other skin deviations that a person believes will be removed with laser treatment.

“The latest research conducted on the effectiveness of lasers, and its use for mole removal, revealed laser treatments stimulated growth of moles, warts, and skin tags, causing many to reappear after removal,” says Dr. Geoffrey Rappert, a member of the American Board of Dermatology, speaking in a hospital interview, as presented in a news release.

This doesn’t mean that every single laser mole removal treatment results in the spot growing back.

It means that sometimes the mole grows back. “This has to do with the way laser light gently donates energy or waves of photos causing rejuvenation of the cell,” says Dr. Rappert.

Another Reason a Mole Grows Back After Laser Treatment to Remove It

“The only way to [completely] remove a mole is surgically,” says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, double board certified in dermatology and dermatopathology, and founder of Mudgil Dermatology in NY.

“Lasers can reduce/eliminate pigmentation (they target melanin, not the melanocyte itself).”

A melanocyte is a specialized cell in the skin that produces the pigment in a mole. The pigment is called melanin.

“Moles that are treated with laser have a very high rate of recurrence, because if the melanocyte itself remains viable, it can resume the production of melanin,” says Dr. Mudgil.

Why then, settle for laser treatment?

Even if your desire to have a pigment spot removed is purely cosmetic, or for convenience (e.g., the mole keeps getting rubbed by clothing), you may as well rely upon more effective, sure ways of treatment: freezing or excision by a dermatologist.

And, if you’re going to have a mole removed, it’s always smart to have it biopsied, even if it looks normal.

I once read about a very young woman who, for cosmetic purposes, had a large mole on her shoulder removed.

Apparently, the doctor removed only the superficial portion, leaving behind portions of the growth beneath the skin.

Because this was a cosmetic procedure, the patient was satisfied because the pigmented area was no longer visible. But this didn’t mean the melanocytes were no longer there.

They were. And what remained there in the young woman eventually morphed into melanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma. Laurence Meyer, MD. cancer.gov

At the initial visit just to have the spot removed, the doctor threw away the portion he had removed, instead of sending it out for a routine biopsy.

He didn’t use laser removal for the mole; he cut it out, but didn’t go deep enough.

At Kaiser Permanente, if you go in to have a mole removed purely for cosmetic purposes, they will automatically send it to the pathology lab for a biopsy, even if it looks normal.

Yes, this will create an additional out-of-pocket expense to patients, but it can be life-saving.

The woman who had the shoulder mole removed eventually died from her melanoma.

It has been speculated that had her doctor sent the removed portion to be biopsied, that the early stages of melanoma could have been detected.

Dr. Mudgiltreats infant to geriatric patients, and is versed in all aspects of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. He has published extensively in the medical literature plus has lectured at numerous national meetings.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


Top image: Shutterstock, Ekaterina Vidyasova
Source: prweb.com/releases/mole-removal/treatment-options/prweb868604.htm