“Dr. Seckel, Have you heard of a machine called a hyfecator, used to remove small brown spots. What are your thoughts on this technique?” –Kim, Houston, Texas
Thank you for an excellent question!
The machine you are referring to, the Hyfecator has been used for many years by plastic surgeons, Dermatologists and other doctors to remove various skin growths including brown spots on the skin and pigmented skin lesions as well as some superficial skin cancers.
The Hyfecator is an electrical device that uses an electric current to “burn off” the skin growth such as a brown spot, wart, mole or other skin “lesion”
One problem with the Hyfecator especially when used to remove brown spots is that it can be hard to control the depth of the “burn”, and if the treatment goes too deep it can leave a white scar where the brown spot was.
I prefer to use a newer technique using a laser to remove superficial, thin brown spots as I can control how deep the laser goes and usually leave no scar. (See the category Brown Spots for previous answers about Brown Spots).
If the brown spot is actually a thick mole it can also be removed by freezing (with liquid Nitrogen) or surgically removed, usually leaving a better scar than can be achieved with the Hyfecator.
Some brown spots can be dangerous skin cancers such as melanoma, thus it is very important that the doctor diagnose the type of brown spot before removing the brown spot or pigmented skin lesion. This diagnosis is usually best made by a board certified skin doctor known as a dermatologist.
Or visit my Boston Plastic Surgery Practice.