ZocdocAnswersScar from mole removal?

Question

Scar from mole removal?

I clipped off a mole myself that was on my arm, and the scar seems to be developing slowly and getting worse and worse. Did I make a serious mistake? What can I do to stop the scarring?

Answer

There are some people that develop large scars (doctors use the word "hypertrophic" for scars that extend beyond the limits of the original wound) after an injury to their skin. Often, these people will have a family history of keloids (which are scars that grow laterally to involve surrounding tissue not originally affected by the wound) or bad scarring after surgery or any other wound that has penetrated the skin. Unless you have a family history of this kind of scarring, it is difficult to predict who will have this reaction, although people with darker skin are more prone to develop this sort of problem than are those with fair skin, in general. It is also apparent that there are some age groups that are more prone to developing these large scars than are other, with the oldest and the youngest people least likely to be affected. Caucasian people, again for reasons that are not understood, are the least likely to develop these scars, which seem to develop from an imbalance in the normal forces that create scars and the forces that remodel them. Some things that can be done to stop the scar from growing include local injections, occlusive dressings, and other therapies that seems to help in some cases. Hypertrophic scars differ from keloids in that they will resolve spontaneously, although often not completely. The key is prevention, which is best done by avoiding non-essential cosmetic surgery. Please talk to your doctor soon for more options, and also to confirm that the growth is nothing more than an overactive scar.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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