Moles and freckles are both pigmented spots and can look very similar, leading many people to use the terms freckle and mole interchangeably.
However, there are some key differences between the two. Freckles are pale brown spots that are small to medium in size and cover large areas on the body and face. On the other hand, moles are dark brown or black spots that vary in size and usually occur in isolation.
Once a pigmented spot has been properly identified as a freckle or mole, patients can then begin considering the most appropriate course of action for freckle and mole removal. Here’s everything you need to know about your treatment options.
Freckle Removal – What Are the Treatment Options?
Freckle removal can be performed in an office-setting without incisions or anesthesia, and patients have several treatment options.
1. Laser/Light Treatments
Laser and light treatments are typically the most effective way to reduce or eliminate unwanted freckles for patients with lighter skin tones. If an individual only wants to lighten, but not completely remove his/her freckles, aesthetic experts recommend a light laser resurfacing treatment.
However, if the goal removal, then a pigmentary laser, which emits energy that is readily absorbed by melanin, is suggested.
It typically takes one-to-four laser treatments to achieve desired effects for freckle removal.
2. Chemical Peels
While chemical peels typically take three-to-five applications and provide less dramatic results than laser treatments, they are often a gentler means of freckle removal.
The efficacy and number of sessions required depends on the severity of freckles.
3. Bleaching Cream
A bleaching cream, such as four percent hydroquinone, offers patients a way to fade, but not fully remove freckles.
This treatment is ideal for individuals that have the necessary time and patience, as bleaching creams can take three-to-six weeks to diminish the appearance of freckles.
Mole Removal: What Are the Treatment Options?
The initial approach to a raised mole is shaving. This type of mole removal involves the application of local anesthesia, shaving the mole, and then waiting for a scab to form and fall off.
However, if a mole returns after shaving, it can be cut out (excised) and then carefully sutured closed.
Finally, flat moles can be shaved, treated with a deep chemical peel, or lasered.
Will I End up with a Scar?
In the hands of a skilled and experienced provider, freckle removal treatments should not result in a scar.
However, mole removal that requires shaving may lead to a white patch-like scar and is often reserved for less-visible areas like the back, arms, and legs.
Comparatively, excision is preferred for sensitive areas like the face, as this type of mole removal produces minimal scarring – usually a thin, straight line.
If you are concerned about any moles or freckles, please call DC Derm Docs today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with one of our highly-skilled and talented providers.