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Laser hair removal over flat mole

I have been receiving laser hair removal treatments around my aerolae.  About an inch away from my aerola one of my breasts is a flat mole, about a centimeter big, with a lighter shade of brown surrounding a darker brown in the center of the mole. The mole has been there my entire life with no change in character.  The laser techs told me they would just work around this mole to prevent burning it.

During a treatment on 1/17/11, I was told the laser would be "turned up".  The treatment was a bit more painful, and I did experience some lingering redness for a couple hours after the treatment.    Now, 1 week later, my mole seems to be missing the darker pigment in the center, and the general character of the mole has changed. It looks as though the darker pigment has been "scooped out", and the area is now red and not smooth.  Almost like a scab that has been picked off and is re-healing. I am left to conclude that somehow the mole was burned by the laser, and is subsequently peeling (thereby missing skin and pigment).  

Currently, I do not have full health care coverage (only catastrophic insurance) so it is not feasible for me to go see a dermatologist.  I called the laser treatment center who told me that the laser light probably traveled to the mole area.  They suggested to keep my eye on it to monitor its healing, and to call them back if it gets worse or seems odd and that they will send me to their dermatologist (free of charge).  She also told me that since the laser doesn't use UV light, that it does not pose a threat to developing cancer.  She said this was especially true since the mole is on skin that rarely is exposed to sunlight.  

My question: Should I be worried about this mole having been burned and damaged?  Does it pose a threat of turning cancerous - anymore than any mole has the potential to be cancerous?  Has this laser light exposure increased the risk?  Should I be taking any measures, such as going to see a dermatologist right away?

1 Responses
1318109 tn?1292888573
Welcome to the Dermatology Expert Forum!

Here are guidelines applicable in a situation like yours:

1. Skin should be thoroughly assessed (especially pigmented moles) by a physician before use of any therapeutic electromagnetic radiation (including laser and/or IPL) for medical and/or cosmetic reasons. Presence of a pigmented mole with variable color and more than 0.5 cm in diameter requires complete analysis and regular follow up checks.

2. If your physician had decided that it was safe to treat surrounding areas for hair reduction, mole could have been properly protected from exposure to IPL/laser radiation.

3. If such a mole is burned/accidently damaged, it definitely requires evaluation by a dermatologist in order to speed up the recovery and then provide long-term advice in regards to management of mole.

Wishing You Optimal Health,
Dr. Jasmina Jankicevic
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