Shave Biopsy for moles and skin tags care instructions

Pre and post-care instructions: Shave Biopsy for Mole’s and Skin tags

Pre care instructions

  • Avoid Aspirin, Non- Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory medications such as Myprodol®, Arnica, Omega 3, fatty acids and high dose Vitamin E supplements for 3 days before the treatment.
  • Inform the doctor if you are allergic to lignocaine or sensitive to adrenaline.
  • It is advisable to use an anti-pigmentation serum or cream 4 weeks before skin tag removal in patients with darker skins.

What to expect during the procedure

  • You will be requested to sign a consent form before the treatment
  • Clinical photographs may be taken.
  • A Shave Biopsy (excision without stitches) is the simplest of the mole removal methods. The doctor will first numb the area to be treated using a local anaesthetic injection. This will contain lignocaine and adrenaline.
  • The area will be disinfected with chlorhexidine.
  • Using a small blade, the doctor will shave the mole off, sometimes going slightly below the skin level. An anti-bleeding solution may be applied over the area to stop any bleeding.
  • Afterwards, a topical antibiotic is applied to the wound and covered with a plaster or steri-strip if necessary.

Possible side effects/risks

  • The most common risk with mole removal is scarring. Depending on your skin’s ability to heal, this type of scar can fade completely over time. Apply a scar reduction cream or product such as Scar Science® to speed up healing.
  • Infection can occur if the area is not kept clean and antibiotic cream not applied regularly.
  • Treated areas will form a small scab and the area around the wound and under the scar will appear slightly red, this is a normal wound reaction, and fades within 2-4 weeks.
  • The area beneath the mole/ skin tag may be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin or contain pigment. It is advisable to use anti-pigmentation serums/ products should you be at risk of developing pigmentation.

Post care instructions

  • Mole or skin tag removal normally requires little or no recuperation time.
  • If you feel any discomfort, relieve it with prescribed pain medication.
  • Clean the wound gently with mild soap and tepid water once or twice a day. Keeping the wound clean is essential in the healing process during the first five days.
  • Apply Bactroban® or Fucidin® or Chloromyceton® ointment until scabs form. Apply on top of the steri-strip if present.
  • The steri-strip will loosen and fall off on its own within the first 3 days.  There is no need to apply a bandage at this point.
  • It’s normal for a scab to develop; this will flake off  within a week or two
  • DO NOT pick at scabs! Picking at scabs will increase your risk of a scar. Allow scabs to fall off naturally.
  • Avoid sun exposure until wound healing is complete. Twice daily use of sunscreen is recommended
  • It is advisable to use anti-pigmentation serums/ products should you be at risk of developing pigmentation.
  • A two week follow up with the doctor is recommended

If you experience any of the following problems please contact Dr Norval immediately: Drainage from wound, increased redness, fever, swelling to treated area lasting longer than 24hours, or increased pain or itchiness.