This page was designed to help you understand the healing process and to help you take care of yourself after you get your mole removal. It will also prepare you for what to expect. The image below is the before photo of a mole on the forehead of a person who received an excision to remove the mole with a surgical closure with sutures.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the night of the procedure day after excisional mole removal. Notice it is a little inflammed. Importantly, notice how there is very little crusting between the skin edges. This is important to get the best healing. This should be maintained at all times. We have more on wound healing and the care of your incisions with this link: Plastic Surgery Wound Healing / Incision Care. If you notice closely the incision is everted and elevated. This is done purposefully. The elevation of the middle part of the incision will allow the incision to heal without tension. This will allow the incision to heal as thin as possible. So right after the procedure, you don’t want the incision to be flat, the result of a flat incision is that in a few months the incision will spread and it will not look as good. The elevation of the incision will relax over the course of 2-6 months, but will lead to a better incisional scar.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the day after after excisional mole removal. It is a little less inflamed and the incisional edges are clean. This wound is on its way to healing into something that could be imperceptible.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the on day 3 after excisional mole removal. Even a little less inflamed and the incision still looks great and cleaned well. If there happens to be resistant crusting, you can use hydrogen peroxide but be very careful with this and be conservative. Once your incision is clean after the hydrogen peroxide, you should stay on the vinegar and water washing. Again to learn more about how to care for your incision read our Wound Care / Scar Prevention Page.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the on day 7 after excisional mole removal. This picture looks pretty close to the one on day 3. The person was really consistent in their cleaning. This is the day that we remove the sutures. We usually advocate that you continue with the Vaseline for 3-4 more days and then switch to silicone gel or sheets on day 10 or 14. Then for the next 3-6 months you should apply silicone gel at night for 12 hours and then use sunscreen during the day for 12 hours. This will give you the best healing and outcome. Note though that the cleaning the first 7 days is paramount to the best results.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the on day 10 after excisional mole removal. The swelling and redness / inflammation has improved greatly. The incision is small and looks like it is healing great. At this point, silicone gel could help this scar improve even more over the next 6 months to a year.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the on day 18 after excisional mole removal. The swelling and redness / inflammation has improved even more. The incision is further starting to blend in. Now notice that it is still eleveated and bunched up. We want this. The wound is undergoing a tug of war and trying to pull apart the incision. The sutures in there are opposing these forces to allow the incision to heal in the best possible way. This is also the reason that the incision is healing so well at this point.
Below is a picture of what it looked like the on day 28 after excisional mole removal. The swelling and redness / inflammation are even more improved. The incision line looks like it is getting smaller. We will continue the kelocote in the evening and the sunscreen during the day for another 4-5 months. At 2 -3 months after the procedure we will consider massage to get the elevation to come down. Thus far the elevation is really helping the incision heal better which you see is continually getting more camouflaged.