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Our 17 year old teen hates their 4-5 moles on their face. We parents
don't think any of the moles take away from our teen's good looks. But
our teen is begging us to consider plastic surgery to remove them. We
have been to a dermatologist and the doctor explained the possibility of
scarring if he did the surgery. Hence, the idea of plastic surgery. But
honestly we would rather have our teen deal with it and come to accept
their imperfections. And we parents feel even if the moles were removed,
another imperfection would fill the void.Comments?
My family is heavy on moles. I was so envious of my cousin who got
to get hers removed in high school. I waited until after college
and then started paying for it myself. It wasn't covered by
insurance at that point but I was willing to pay out of pocket. I
can't say it would have made a difference in my life to have it done
earlier or not. But I can say that I am a professional working with
teens, and that lots of research shows that letting them dress well
and look their best, while it may seem vain to us, increases their
self-confidence and their relationships with peers and that leads to
future success. That said, there isn't much harm in getting the
moles removed. Maybe the ones your teen has are exceptionally large
- certainly options of plastic surgery were never considered for
myself or my cousins. Maybe get a second opinion on that? Good
Two cents worth of advice about removing moles through plastic
surgery: since you, the parents, don't see the need, and it is your
money in question, then don't do it. If your daughter really wants
it, allow her the choice to earn the money and fund the plastic
surgery. This is not an urgent matter: your daughter can do it
when she can afford it.
Yes, absolutely. Do it. Remove that distraction. Even though inner
beauty is what matters to you, and what matters in the long run (and
she has heard that from you), you also want to support her while she
swims in the judgmental and superficial sea of high school. I only
wish all teens' problems were so limited and concrete.
Maybe she'll gain in confidence and it will change her life! But if
she learns that the absence of moles doesn't make her more popular
or improve her life, that will be a valuable lesson too.
My cousin recently died of melanoma at the age of 30. I am 31. So I'm
having all of my moles examined (3 were recently biopsied and came back
benign). There is one mole left to be biopsied and it's located on my
lower lip. Since it's in a very visible spot, I'm concerned about scarring.
I have scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist but am wondering if
I would be better off having it done by a plastic surgeon. Do plastic
surgeons leave less of a scar? Also, I am looking for recommendations
for either dermatologist or plastic surgeon. I am very anxious and
scared (given my cousin's tragic experience) so good bedside manner is a
must. Thank you.
My father-in-law is a plastic surgeon (out of state) and I know he does
removes moles. I would go to a plastic surgeon. They have years of
specialize training on doing procedures with minimal scarring.
I imagine a dermatologist who also has cosmetic/plastic surgery experience
would be more skillful in preventing major scarring from removing a mole
on your lip. Dr. Tomi Wall saw my toddler for his eczema. I appreciated
her kindness and patience during the exams. Check out her reviews on Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tomi-wall-m-d-oakland. She's in a practice that
focuses more on cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery, but for general
dermatology, she was wonderful.
If you're having work done on your face, I'd definitely go with a plastic
surgeon. My mother had a small thing removed from her nose and she had it
done by a dermatologist. Now, there's a divet in her nose. I think a
plastic surgeon, especially one who specializes in cosmetics, would be a
better choice. In fact, I'd recommend Dr. Robert Aycock in Walnut Creek.
He's precise and thorough, provides great service and stands behind his
My teen daughter has a few small facial moles. I've received
conflicting advice about the level of expertise required to
remove them because they are on her chin and cheek and any
scarring would be obvious. Any suggestions as to who might
be best (east bay / south bay locale)? Any idea as to cost
to budget (since it's cosmetic)? Appreciate any feedback here.
I think you are smart to be considering this so carefully. I had a mole just under
my nose that I had removed after I got out of college. The scar is prominent to
this day and does bother me. I had a dermatologist do it in his office, and the
dermatologist was a good, thorough doctor. But I think what you want is
someone who is more attuned to the cosmetic issues at hand.
--wish I'd been more careful
I recommend Michael Cedars, M. D. (Plastic Surgeon) of
I have a mole I'd like to remove above my eyebrow, and
would like suggestions from women who have had moles removed,
about where they did this, how much it cost, was it painful,
and did it leave a scar.
Thank you so much!
Re mole removal. I had a mole removed that was near my eyebrow, about a
ago. I had it done at my dermatologist's office. It was not covered
by insurance, so
I paid out of pocket, I can't remember the price now $150 or so? The
was when they put in the numbing medicine, the actual procedure was not
After it had healed a bit, it was apparent that some of the raised mole
was still left, and I went back. He told me that it was better to take
off too little than too much the first time, (which he had not mentioned
initially), so that there would not be a dent in my skin. He took off
the final bit and charged me for $35 for just the equipment that he
needed to use. ''There never was an obvious scar; right after the
procedure I just kept it moist with aquaphor, or some such ointment, a
bandaid would not fit there. Over the year the scar has faded, and it
never was really apparent. But people certainly noticed that the mole
was gone! (of course, I never realized how apparent it was!) Now I see
a tiny brown dot in the middle of the scar, so maybe it's growing back?
So far, it is not a problem, but we'll see, I would definitely do this
mole removal again if necessary.
I feel a little more beautiful!
My six year old has a mole right in the middle of his cheek. We have a wonderful
pediatric dermatologist (Renee Howard) who recommended removing it, not
because it posses any health risk but because it is very noticeable and once school
age kids enter first/second grade they usually want this sort of thing gone.
I'm not sure if we should have our pediatric dermatologist remove it or a plastic
surgeon since it is in a very prominent location. Our pediatrician could not
recommend a pediatric plastic surgeon since they mostly deal with larger
reconstructive issues. Has anyone had a similar experience or suggestions?
Hold out for a plastic surgeon. My spouse is in pediatrics, and that's
what he always advises for the face. I also had my derm do a leg mole
removal recently, and was not happy with the scar.
My spouse said, ''well, if you were concerned about the scar, you should
have gone to a plastic surgeon.'' (Now he tells me...) You could call
Children's Hospital in Oakland for a referral
I posed your question to a close friend who is a plastic surgeon. Her
name is Dr.
Victoria Pao, she practices in the East Bay, and here is her reply:
Overall, if you ask a plastic surgeon who would be better at mole
removal, a plastic surgeon will always vote on their own specialty.
(More surgical experience, anesthesia experience, etc.)
It's tricky with kids b/c there's no ''right'' time to operate, but in
general, it does spare the child teasing when an obviously deforming
trait (a large mole in a conspicuous area) is removed early.
Unfortunately, the trade off is a scar. And children are not usually
the most compliant with scar management or surgery.
Anesthesia is recommended - usually a hospital setting.
I'd be happy to evaluate (mom should check to make sure I'm part of
their health care plan - right now, I'm contracted with the PPOs of
Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and Medicare - maybe more, but
I can't think of them off the top of my head). She can always call my
office (510)537-1577. Children's Hospital Oakland has good plastic
surgeons, too. lynna
What a coincidence--almost scary. My son (now 6) was born with a
birthmark on his forehead and at his last well-kid checkup, the ped
asked about it. She sent us to a dermatologist, who does want to remove
it, just in case. I resisted, but my friends pointed out that it really
*is* better safe than sorry.
I thought the dermo was going to be the one to remove it, but Kaiser has
given us a referral to a plastic surgeon! I was in favor of this from
the beginning, if nothing else but for the stitches. This is something
on his face; remember that his face (and the scar) will grow as he
grows. So I want the best plastic surgery care possible... and I'm
thinking you would, too. Feel free to contact me. Jennie
I would like to know if there's any recommendation in regards
to what kind of treatment, surgery, etc I should undergo in
order to get facial imperfections, mainly moles, removed. They
aren't cancerigenous, thank God. Therefore this is only for
cosmetic purposes. I'm very interested in hearing about your
own experience ( or someone you know), how long it takes to
heals, how painful the removal is, scarring, etc.
I have had A LOT of experience with Mole Removal. I am pretty
much covered in them! I have had many removed and in my
experience it is a pretty easy process. If you are really
concerned with scaring you may want to go to a
dermatologist/plastic surgeon. I have had moles removed in
different ways. Large, deep ones some times need to be removed
and then stitched up, which will take alittle more time to heal
and can obviously cause scaring if you are prone to scars. They
always give me a shot of lidocaine (right around the mole area)
which is just a little pinch/burn and then usually slice it off
with a razor and either stitch it up or cauterize it. It can be
alittle sensitive for the first few days and you really need to
follow their care and cleaning instructions. Like anything it
takes a few days/weeks to heal and you will most likely have a
noticeable mark on your face while it is healing. It really is a
pretty easy procedure, just make sure you trust your
dermatologist AND you donUt have anywhere major to go the next
few weeks after. I believe you also need to be careful with sun
Hope that helps
If your moles are on the face, I think most dermatologists
would refer you to a plastic surgeon. I had a consultation with
Dr. Elizabeth Lee about my facial moles, and appreciated how
straightforward she was. Basically you're trading a mole for a
scar, which may be small, but still a scar. I decided to keep
the moles, for now
I have had one mole removed for cosmetic reasons. I'm glad I did
it but I doubt I'll have more removed on my face (I'm rather
''moley'' or as my toddler says ''bumpy.'' ) The scar, while on the
side of my face, is evident and the hair that grew out of the
mole still grows in that spot. The recovery was pretty minor, I
wore a bandaid for a while. I've resigned myself to a more
topographically interesting face. Good luck with your decision
Do you have to remove these moles from your face? I had a mole
removed from my body. The doctor said it had to be removed to
see if it was cancerous. Turned out it was benign. It healed
properly, in the amount of time the doctor said it would, the
removal did not hurt, but I do have a scar. I regret not asking
around about scarring before I had it removed. You are smart
for doing this research first. I wish there had been a way to
test the mole first without removing it.
The scar is always there
I had a mole removed from the center of my forehead about 4 years
ago. It had never bothered me but after like eight little kids
made comments I thought ''you know kids never lie and if it's
bothering them there are probably adults who have issues with it
and just don't say anything because they are being polite.''
I had it done and two things happened. I got a bunch of very
positive comments about how beautiful my eyes were and how much
more noticeable they were. (Must have been pretty distracting
huh?) Then people FORGOT it was ever there! They'll come over and
see pictures and go ''You had a mole?'' And I'm like ''yeah for 30
yrs. Didn't we go to highschool together?'' Seriously. More than once.
Anyway it cost $150. It was outpatient surgery. Took about an
hour. Had to wear a little bandaid on it for about a week. I
ended up wearing it for longer because there was an indentation
that took about a month to fill in. Now it's completely flat and
there's one speck that's lighter than the rest of my forehead. If
you don't have a surgeon picked out and your interested you can
e-mail me and I'll give you the name of mine. She's in the city!
I would like to have a mole removed from my face and am looking
for recommendations on Dr. Elizabeth Lee and Dr. Shahin
Javaheri, both in Berkeley. There were no recommendations for
this procedure or Dr. Javaheri on the website, and the only
posts for Dr. Lee were for different procedures. My husband
recently saw Dr. Javaheri for the removal of an abscess and
suggested seeing him, but I'd like more input from others. Has
anyone had a mole removed from either of these doctors (or any
others)? What was your experience?
I would recommend Dr. Howard Lee in Pinole. He is a cosmetic
surgeon and removed a rather large mole from my daughter when she
was six. She is now thirteen. I was very concerned and did a
lot of research before choosing Dr. Lee. My daughter's mole was
under her nose, on her upper lip. I was concerned about
scarring. Dr. Lee did a great job.
I know both Dr. Elizabeth Lee and Dr. Shahin Javaheri well,
both on a professional and personal basis. They are both
personable, extremely well trained and experienced. I am a
physician myself, and wouldn't hesitate to have either one of
them treat me. You should be sure to check with your
insurance to know who the will ''allow'' you to see.
Good luck to you.
The nail salon in Montclair offers laser removal of moles for
$30. They put ''solution'' on the mole, let it sit on the skin,
then remove the mole with a laser.
Has anyone heard of this? Any safety concerns?
A nail salon doing laser mole removal? As someone who had
melanoma, that does not sound safe at all, for a variety of
reasons. Please see a dermatologist.
Please do not have anyone other than a dermatologist remove a
mole!! First, it's not always easy to tell if something is a
mole, freckle or other growth. Second, if it is a mole, only a
dermatologist can evaluate whether it should be removed. Even if
the dermatologist decides that it doesn't need to be removed,
the dermatologist will remove it for aesthetic reasons if you
want. However, a good dermatologist will always send a removed
mole to a lab for analysis, whether he or she thinks its
problematic or not. If you have any kind of skin growths (skin
tags, moles, keratoses etc.) you should be monitored by a
dermatologist. It's not a big deal. Generally, one visit a year
where the moles are examined visually is enough. I've had a lot
of moles and skin tags removed by a dermatologist over the last
30 years (most for aesthetic reasons). Some moles can be removed
simply by using a local anesthetic and cutting the mole from the
skin. Others, because of the kind of mole, are removed along
with surrounding skin and require a stitch or two. I've had them
done both ways--no scarring with the ones that are cut, and very
minimal scaring even with a few stitches.
I can recommend a dermatologist in Berkeley on Milvia--Cornelia
Pessoa, M.D. Very good.
Having laser surgery done at a ''nail salon'' doesn't sound safe to
me and for only $30 . Are they qualified to do it? I have had
several treatments of laser hair removal done at the Laser Center
of Marin (415) 945-9314 and feel I can trust my face to them.
They have an office in Pinole also (Bay Area Laser Surgery Center
(510) 724-8282). Laser's can cause serious burns that can cause
scaring. The power of the laser is set depending on the skin
tone and pigmentation. I go all the way to Marin even though the
Pinole office would be much closer only because the machine over
there can deal with much darker skin.
I recommended the Laser Center of Marin earlier. Added note: my
daughter had a rather large mole removed at the age of six by a
brilliant Cosmetic Sugeon, Dr. Howard Lee in Pinole (510)
724-1650. I did a lot of research and he was recommended over
and over again. I was worried about scaring because the mole was
under her nose on her upper lip and in a very visable spot. My
daughter is now 13 and has a minimal scar which will hopefully
completely disappear by the time she is an adult.
From my experience, I think anything involving a true mole
should be done by a dermatologist, not a salon. If it was a sun
spot or some similar pigment discoloration, that wouldn't seem
so scary b/c dermatologists use lasers to take off those. But
whenever I have had a real mole removed, it involves a scalpel
because they go beneath the skin. Maybe I am paranoid b/c I
know people who have had melanoma but I do not mess around when
it comes to moles.
Can anybody recommend a dermatologist in SF (the
website listings are all for East Bay docs)? The 3 docs I'm
considering (covered by my plan) are:
Past Due for Mole Check
My OB/GYN in SF, Dr. Laurie Green, recommended that I see Dr.
Beverly Epstein for dermatological treatment in a very sensitive
locationn. Dr. Epstein was wonderful, made me feel more comfortable
than I normally do when visiting a doctor and provided excellent care. I
highly recommend her.
I believe each of those doctors are in the same office under the
name of Tuffanelli. I saw Marie a couple of times and she
seemed somewhat inexperienced, however, she didn't hesitate to
consult with some of the ''older'' doctors in the same office to
get resolution. I would use her again as her demeanor/bed side
manner is good. The office itself was cramped (the exam rooms
and the lobby area were very small) but everyone, including the
receptionist, was very professional.
I've been seeing Lucia Tuffanelli in San Francisco for about 3-4
years. I just go in for mole checks once a year because I am a
I have found that she is pretty brief. I've never known if her
seeming indifference is because she has never seen anything to
be worried about or her schedule or her personality. She was
recommended to me by my doctor -- who told me she was fantastic
(it was who she used), but warned me that I would need to be
prepared for her lack of ''bedside manners''. Basically, she said
if I was willing to forgo the latter, I would have access to a
fantastic doctor. The last time I went I was pregnant. And she
sort of had a personality change. She went on and on about her
children and we had a wonderful conversation. I left feeling
like she wasn't as cold as I thought her to be.
I do know she was rated one of the top dermatologist in the Bay
Area by San Francisco Magazine this year. And I tend to think
that specialists that doctor's use are as a good a
recommendation as they come.
The bottom line is I'm mixed about her, mostly because I've
never had any problems. I just go for my own piece of mind
about the state of my moles. So I've never seen her in action.
A friend of mine used her husband (he's part of the same
practice). He had a questionable mole -- but the doctor didn't
want to do anything about it. When he told him his cousin died
at age 26 of melanoma he removed it right then and there. I
think that in the world of managed health care -- the patient
plays such an important role in what kind of care you get. As
long as you can be a strong advocate for yourself and make sure
you get all your questions answered and are sure to provide all
the information you have to the doctor, she'll probably give you
great care (but probably won't be your best friend.)
We use Les Hilger, 460 34th St., Oakland, 652-8091
He was highly recommended to us by another physician and hasn't
disappointed us. Seems knowledgable and has a good manner. It can
take a while to get an appointment with him, so for an emergency we
have used others in his practice. His ongoing care of my husband's
many moles seems quite thorough. My husband
has all sorts of growths and has to be monitored on a regular basis.
Hilger and his office have been excellent at follow-ups on test
results, reminders of future check-ups, etc. I have also used his
partner, Dr. Paslin, when I couldn't get in to see him. I didn't like
his mannerisms as well, but he was always right on with his diagnoses
and treatments. I have gone to him more than once and would return if
I couldn't get into Dr. Hilger
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