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Posted by Cedars Dermatology, 8th April 2021
Whether you’re looking into mole removal as a precaution or you’re unhappy with the placement of a mole, our expert dermatologists can help. In this post, we’ll answer some common questions about mole removal, covering the treatment itself, as well as aftercare, side-effects and possible prevention. Our skin clinic proudly serves Elstree and beyond, so get in touch with us if you’d like to schedule a consultation with our dermatologists.
For some, it’s a purely cosmetic reason that’s as simple as disliking their mole (whether size, placement, colour, or a factor such as hairiness) and wanting to remove it. It might not even be in a prominent place – it’s all a matter of building confidence.
In other cases, a mole may be at risk of developing into skin cancer, or is actively cancerous. Some kinds of skin cancer, or stages of the disease, can spread, and not just within the skin. If you’re ever concerned about a mole, it’s essential to have it checked by a dermatologist or doctor.
Doctors and dermatologists cite the ABCDE guide when advising patients on what to look for in their moles:
A – Asymmetry: if you split the mole in half, would it look the same?
B – Border: are the edges irregular, blurred or jagged?
C – Colour: is there more than one shade of colour visible in the mole?
D – Diameter: is the mole the size of a pencil eraser – or larger?
E – Evolving: have you noticed a change in your mole?
Experts also cite the ‘ugly duckling’ mole, which looks different from the ones surrounding it.
The first step is to examine the mole. A special device, called a dermascope, is passed over the skin to magnify the mole and check for any patterns. If it’s considered to be cancerous, it can be removed with a scalpel – a minor surgical procedure that’s mostly quick and easy to perform. In some cases, part of a mole is removed for a biopsy, which can check whether it’s cancerous.
This can occur, but it depends on how many moles are removed, their size and placement, and how easy treatment is to carry out. Most scars will lighten and fade with time, and it’s possible to stop them forming in some cases, by keeping skin moist and clean. Even if scarring does occur, it may be treatable with procedures such as laser therapy.
You may have some slight pain, sensitivity or swelling following the removal, which should pass with time. Unusual signs – pus, excessive swelling or redness, bleeding – can be a sign there’s an infection, which is treatable. To prevent this, avoid picking, scratching or rubbing at your scab (this can also help prevent scarring).
Sun protection could prevent moles developing or growing. However, some moles are linked to genetics and hormones, and they aren’t always possible to prevent. Mole mapping is a useful way to photograph and capture where moles have developed and to check for any changes, and is a service our dermatologists offer at our skin clinic.
Your first step is a consultation here at our skin clinic, serving the Elstree area. Of course, if you’ve already undergone treatment, we still advise you to talk with our team – likewise, if you’re interested in mole mapping, you can visit our contact page for full details.