Section : Controversy

Laser treatment of moles (For Professionals)

Laser treatment of moles

  • A very frequent request is to remove moles (melanocytic nevi) for cosmetic nuisance in particular in visible areas such as the face. Moreover in some cultures (Chinese for example…), the presence of moles on the face is a sign of bad luck.
  • The normal treatment consists of removing the mole (excision) and analyzing it under the microscope (histological examination). This analysis is done to check that the removed melanocytic lesion is not malignant (benign).

But what to do when there are numerous undesirable moles ?

  • Indeed every mole removal with conventional treatment will INEVITABLY create a scar. This scar is more or less small depending on size and location of the lesion, as well as each individual’s capacity to heal wounds.
  • It is excessively fashionable in this cosmetic trend to do cosmetic treatments at any price and some bold dermatologists and non dermatologists propose destructive treatments of these melanocytic lesions (Nd-YAG, CO2 laser…).
  • The destruction of these unalanalyzed lesions leads to a destruction of pigment cells (for example with the pigment cell) without that necessarily of potentially malignant cells.
  • One thus looses the possibility to detect  potentially malignant lesions (malignant melanoma) at an early stage. The patient can present many years later with metastases.
  • Doing such a treatment requires that the person undergoing it is fully aware of the potential risks. The physician (medical doctor) doing such a treatment has the obligation to inform of the potentially enormous health hazards; that doesn’t take into account that it is ethically questionnable to propose such a treatment in the first place.
  • Patients undergoing such a treatment should at least have the undesirable moles controlled with videomicroscopy* without this in any meaning a form of guarranty. However in our experience, Asian patients rarely develop melanomas and although the risk is never 0%, it remains low.

*Maybe in a few years, confocal microscopy will be reliable enough for accurate in vivo histological analysis

This advice is for informational purposes  only and does not replace therapeutic judgement done by a skin doctor.

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Category : Laser treatment of moles - Modifie le 06.13.2012Category : Traiter les grains de beauté au laser - Modifie le 06.13.2012