Skin lesions such as moles, cysts and skin tags are very common, and can be present almost anywhere on the body or face. Most cause no harm or discomfort – although it’s vital you keep a close eye on any changes in shape, size or colour, and see a doctor promptly if you have any concerns. While many people are comfortable with their “beauty spots” (think supermodel Cindy Crawford and her signature mole), others can’t wait to get rid of them. Happily mole removal is usually a quick, simple and straightforward procedure.
What exactly are moles?
A mole (scientific name: melanocytic naevi) is a small, coloured spot on the skin made up of cells called melanocytes, which produce the colour or pigment in your skin.
Moles are usually brown, although some can be darker or even skin-coloured. They can be flat, raised, rough, smooth, circular or oval. The average adult has anything from 10 to 40 moles on their body at any given time. Some are present from birth; others develop as you grow and mature. They may even start to disappear as you reach the age of 50.
Why get rid of them?
The vast majority of moles are completely safe. However, many people consider them very unsightly (especially if they are large and/or hairy), which in turn makes them feel self-conscious and unattractive. And even harmless moles can be a big nuisance, for example, if they catch on clothing or bleed while shaving.
When are they dangerous?
Most moles aren’t dangerous, but in rare cases they can develop into a melanoma – a type of skin cancer. Changes to a mole may be an early indication of this, which is why it’s important to monitor their appearance. Carefully check your skin every few months for any new moles – and for changes to existing moles. Things to look for include uneven colouring, ragged edges, bleeding, itching, crusting and an increase in size. If you spot any of these, see your GP ASAP.
How do I remove them?
Very easily! There are many different methods of mole removal. The exact technique will depend on things such as size and location, and may involve a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. We offer a one-to-one consultation with one of our dermatology experts prior to treatment, to select the best option for each individual.
Some moles can be “shaved” down to the level of surrounding skin – this is a quick and easy removal method. Once the mole is shaved off, the dermatologist will cauterise the area, and prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection.
Full excision with a scalpel or surgical scissors is another option. In this instance, the dermatologist will surgically removed the entire mole, as well as any skin around it, to prevent any regrowth. This usually requires a stitch, and you may experience minimal scarring.
Another popular option is cryotherapy. This uses liquid nitrogen (a cold, liquefied gas) to “freeze” the mole, which causes the skin cells to die and fall off.
In short, there are several solutions to mole misery – and treatment prices start at just £250. So if your face or body growths are making you embarrassed and insecure, get in touch today to arrange a consultation. You could be mole-free in a matter of weeks!