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Skin tags, warts, cysts and moles are harmless skin growths that vary in colour from pink flesh tones to dark brown, which can be easily removed with minor surgery under local anaesthetic. However, before seeking cosmetic surgery any minor lumps, bumps or moles should be checked with your GP to make sure they are harmless and can be removed.
Are you considering skin tag, wart, cyst or mole removal ?
Skin tags are very common small flesh coloured or brown growths that hang off the skin which look a bit like warts and are harmless.
Warts are similar to skin tags, but differ in their appearance. They are often irregular in texture with a rough surface and normally lie flat against the skin, rather than hanging off it like skin tags. Warts are contagious and are able to spread across the skin, meaning groups of the growths can sometimes develop across the body.
A skin cyst is a fluid filled bump which lies just underneath the skin and is normally harmless, however all cysts should be checked by your GP.
Moles are often harmless skin growths, however it is very important to note that if you have a mole that changes in colour or size, or starts to bleed, it is really important to get it checked by your GP.
Many of us have skin imperfections which can develop over the course of our lives and tend to increase and enlarge as we age. Moles in particular can be large and unsightly, often with hair growing from them, which can be embarrassing if on a visible part of the body. Some skin lesions, particularly cysts can become infected and require treatment with antibiotics. Removing moles, skin tags and cysts can remove any irritation they may be causing and aesthetically improve the look of your skin.
Your surgeon will examine the skin lesion carefully in order to determine the best method of treatment. Surgery is relatively simple and will take place under a local anaesthetic. Moles that are considered healthy are often removed using curettage and cautery. This treatment takes only a few minutes and leaves a small scar which will fade with time. Suspicious moles are removed surgically and are sent to the lab for testing. The results of this analysis are normally available within 1 week of your surgery. We will contact you to let you know the results and inform your GP.
Depending on the nature of your skin tag, wart or cyst we offer several different treatments for their removal:
Cryotherapy is a popular method of removal for skin tags and warts owing to its simple process and high success rate. It works by essentially freezing off the skin tag or wart through the delicate application of extreme cold to the area. This freezes the cells within the growth, meaning its blood supply is blocked. Following treatment a blister will normally form in the area which will turn into a scab and fall off within about 7-10 days, leaving your skin lesion free.
A cryotherapy session will normally last around 5-10 minutes and it is particularly useful for multiple growths, though the treatment can sometimes cause pain. While it is a relatively simple procedure, it is very precise and should therefore only be carried out by an experienced surgeon. Damage can occur to the surrounding skin if the treatment is not performed correctly.
Curettage and cautery is often used for skin tags or warts that have not responded to cryotherapy. In the treatment a sharp, spoon-like instrument called a curette is used to scrape off the growth before the wound is sealed (cauterised), normally through the use of heat (short wave diathermy).
Local anaesthetic will normally be used during the treatment, and the wound will commonly be left open afterwards to heal. The wound should be gone within two to three weeks, though your surgeon will thoroughly advise on your recovery.
Surgical excision is often reserved for larger skin tags or warts that are not suitable for cryotherapy or curettage and cautery, though it can be used on those that are smaller and is commonly chosen when the surgeon wants to examine the area. You may require a biopsy after excision, though for skin tags or warts this is extremely rare. Cysts are routinely removed using surgical excision.
In the procedure, the growth is literally cut off using a scalpel, sharp knife, razor or scissors, and the treatment is often performed under local anaesthetic to minimise pain and discomfort. Excision is not frequently used for warts but your surgeon will explain thoroughly if it is the best method for removal.
Our surgeons will use the latest techniques to make any scarring as faint as possible. Once treated your mole, skin tag, wart or cyst is unlikely to grow back. Generally moles and cysts enlarge with time whereas facial scarring produced by removing the lesions improves with time. Larger lesions require more extensive surgery to remove them. It is best to have any facial moles or cysts removed before they become too large.
We always encourage people to do as much research as they can when considering cosmetic surgery, so for more information on skin tag, wart, cyst and mole removal surgery, please contact us using the information box below.