The Test Drive: Radiofrequency Surgitron At Clinic 42
Beauty editor Ashleigh Cometti trials this non-surgical alternative to remove a bothersome bump
The promise: A non-surgical option to remove unwanted raised benign lesions including skin tags, moles and large seborrheic keratoses.
The practice: Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a small, flesh-coloured lesion by my right ear. It didn’t cause me much bother until it started growing, at which point I became extremely self-conscious of its appearance.
I had my initial consultation at Clinic 42 with Dr Eloise Dickie back in 2019, where she assessed my little lesion using a dermatoscope tool. After my assessment (and much to my delight) Dr Eloise advised that I was suitable candidate for the Radiofrequency Surgitron modality. As I was pregnant at the time, something prompted me to wait until after my son was born to have the treatment done (although I now know I needn’t have worried or waited so long!).
At my appointment, I was led to theatre-like room where Dr Eloise talked me through exactly what the treatment entailed, the potential risks and the after-care. She did a fabulous job of putting my mind at ease while fielding my hundreds of questions about the compact machine that sat to my left.
First, she injected local anaesthetic under my skin lesion to numb the area before the treatment began. Surprisingly, this was the most painful part of the entire procedure. She powered up the machine and used a pen-like tool with a triangular-shaped tool to take very thin shavings from the surface of the skin, repeating this process until the lesion had been completely removed.
As this tool essentially “burns” away the lesion, the smell of burning flesh is rather offensive. I asked if it bothered her too, but after performing so many treatments of this ilk, she advised me she’d gotten rather used to it.
All up the process took about 15 minutes, and Dr Eloise showed me the final result before dressing the area with a flesh-coloured butterfly steri-strip which was practically imperceptible.
The place: Clinic 42, 321 Manukau Road, Epsom. Visit Clinic42.co.nz
The price: $500 for a 45-minute consultation and removal of one mole with a doctor. Additional mole removal costs $100, but feel free to ask for a quote for the removal of several moles if you are wanting them treated in a single session.
The take-home: I was advised to keep the wound dressed for as long as possible, to keep it from drying out or crusting over (Dr Eloise informs me that keeping the area hydrated will reduce the chance of scarring). The healing process can take anywhere from 10-14 days, and after the dressing falls off, she recommended cleaning the area once daily with warm water and applying a barrier cream like La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm on top.
For the first three months post-treatment, I’m told to minimise my exposure to the sun or UV rays where possible and to always apply SPF30+ sunscreen.
The verdict: My low pain tolerance and my inherent fear of needles, often means walking into an appearance medicine clinic is a white-knuckle experience for me. I found the idea of having a surgical excision terrifying, so I was glad to learn Radiofrequency Surgitron was an option for me.
I was meticulous with my aftercare and managed to keep the dressing in place for an entire week. It bled a little (a common side effect) but not enough to worry me. I used Cicaplast Balm religiously to keep the area hydrated.
For the first month after my procedure, my skin appeared a little pink, but since then has faded and left only the tiniest dot as a reminder of the bothersome bump that once took up residence there. I’m delighted with my results and my only regret is not having this done sooner.