Many of us can feel unhappy with our skin from time to time, but often, there’s a solution. When it comes to moles, happily, our dermatologists here at our Harley Street skin clinic can help. In this post, we’ll talk a bit more about them, how they can be treated, and whether they can be prevented.
What is a mole?
First and foremost, it helps to know what a mole is – especially as some people confuse moles and freckles. The NHS describes moles as small, coloured spots on the skin. They may be flat, smooth, raised or rough and can even have hair growing from them. They may fade or disappear with age, but if they change size, colour or shape, it can be cause for concern.
When should I have a mole checked?
Moles can become cancerous, triggered through UV exposure (from sunbeds or the sun directly). That’s why our dermatologists will always advise wearing daily sun protection, and to seek shade or cover the skin when the sun is at its strongest. Signs that you should have your mole(s) checked include those listed previously, as well as any itching, bleeding or crusting. There’s a bit more information on the NHS website.
What happens if a mole is cancerous?
A changing mole can be a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. While melanoma starts on the skin, it can spread elsewhere in the body. According to the NHS, the most commonly-affected areas are the back and legs.
Melanoma is caused by strong or frequent exposure to UV light, which can make the skin cells develop abnormally. If a mole looks suspicious, it can be removed (biopsy) to examine the tissue.
What about mole removal?
Moles can be removed, and mole removal can be an effective way at treating melanoma too, if caught early enough. The procedure is carried out surgically.
How do I know if a mole has changed?
We offer a mole mapping service, which keeps tabs on where your moles and freckles are, and can help track any changes, if they occur. It’s done through careful photography and can be carried out anywhere on the body.
Can I avoid moles?
Some people are born with moles – so some may be unavoidable. However, moles and freckles can be affected by the sun, so our dermatologists would advise to wear adequate sun protection outdoors, and to monitor moles regularly with mole mapping, to help prevent future problems.
How do I book with Cedars Dermatology?
To secure your consultation at our skin clinic in Harley Street, or to enquire about mole mapping or our other mole treatments, get in touch with us today.