What is the process of Carbon dioxide laser removal of moles and Seborrhoeic keratoses?

What happens when I come for a treatment? 

Most conditions are treated under local anaesthetic, normally administered by injection. In some cases local anaesthetic cream can be used. Small procedures may be undertaken without anaesthetic.   

To protect your eyes you will either have to wear protective glasses or small metal eye shields. A member of the nursing team will be close by operating a small vacuum device to remove the laser plume (smoke) which is produced during the treatment. 

What are the risks of treatment? 

As with any surgical procedure there is a risk of side effects including wound infection and scarring. Temporary or permanent changes in skin colour can occur with the treated area being paler or darker than the surrounding skin. Changes to skin texture or scarring may occur although this is uncommon.  

If you are prone to cold sores there is a risk that the herpes virus can infect the treated areas. Please inform the doctor in clinic if you suffer from cold sores. 

How does the laser treatment work? 

The laser produces intense light which vaporises the skin producing a graze wound, which then heals over naturally. 
What are the benefits of laser treatment? 

Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment can produce a smoother surface, reduce/remove lumps and bumps and improve the appearance of the skin. 

What if it does not work? 

Not everyone will have good responses to laser treatment and in rare cases the treatment may be ineffective. If you do not have a good response or experience side effects you will be reviewed by your consultant. 

If you do not feel that you are making good progress or that there are side effects the clinician will be able to discuss with you whether to continue the treatment.  

What happens after treatment? 

Laser treatment produces a dry open wound which will then become moist similar to a superficial burn. After treatment an antibiotic ointment (usually Bactroban or Fucidin) is applied and the wound covered with a non-adherent dressing. The wound healing times will vary depending on the procedure and can take around 7-10 days for small procedures. Once the wound is fully healed the treated area will be pink, again depending on the procedure this can take up to 6 months or more to fade. 

Recommended precautions prior to treatment? 

Avoid getting a suntan: no sunbathing or sun bed use. 
Make sure that your doctor knows if you have a medical condition or are taking blood thinning medication or steroid tablets. 

Back to blog