What you need to know about mole removal
Whether you’re born with them or they develop over time, almost all of us have at least some moles on our skin. Usually caused by a combination of genetics and sun exposure, moles can be found anywhere on the body and can come in a range of colours, shapes and sizes, some unsightly and some dangerous.
Most adults have moles on their bodies, but only a small percentage of those will have large raised moles. If you have one of these, you know just how aesthetically unappealing they can be. You might be lucky to have your mole conveniently located somewhere that you can hide it. Then again, you might be stuck with a rather large mole right in the middle of your face. There is no way of hiding that.
Although moles aren’t particularly large, they can really damage a person’s self confidence. Sufferers often say that they can feel people’s eyes drifting towards their mole during a conversation.
What are moles?
Moles are the result of an overproduction of melanin in a clump of skin cells. They can be present at birth or they may develop later on in life, usually during puberty. If they develop after birth, they usually appear flat, but they can become raised and even develop hairs.
Are they dangerous?
If you do not count the damage that a mole can do to a person’s self esteem, then no, moles are not particularly dangerous.
There is a very slight chance that your mole could become cancerous. The warning signs are usually a change in size, colour, shape or if they begin to ooze, bleed or weep. If this happens, you need to seek medical attention sooner rather than later. If caught early, most people can have the mole removed and continue to live long and healthy lives.
What are your options for mole removal?
You have had your mole checked by your doctor and he has assured you that it is not cancerous, but you still want to get rid of it. You are tired of this thing in the middle of your face. Who can blame you?
Depending on your circumstances, mole removal can be a very quick and easy procedure that requires almost no recovery time. . Using advanced electro surgery equipment, the mole is shaved down to the skin, which leaves no scarring.
If your doctor believes that your mole might be cancerous, it will have to be excised and then sent away for testing. Although, this procedure is more invasive, it is the only way to ensure that any potential skin cancer does not spread.
Here’s what you need to know to help you make an informed decision about mole removal.
When should a mole be removed?
While your moles may not bother you, sometimes there is good reason to have them removed, whether it be for cosmetic or medical reasons.
Cosmetic mole removal
Moles can appear on any area of the body, it’s not uncommon for them to show up in highly visible places, like on the chin, lip or face. While many moles are perfectly safe to leave untouched, they may bother you and have a negative impact on your self-image. It is very common for moles to be removed for cosmetic reasons only.
When a mole is being removed for cosmetic reasons, we can use advanced Electro Surgery (RF), where a high-frequency electric current is passed through a probe into the skin tissue to create an incision and/or seal blood vessels (electro coagulation). This essentially removes or flattens the raised section of the mole, before removing it entirely.
This approach removes the need for cutting or stitching, meaning the mole can be removed during a simple walk-in, walk-out procedure. It also means that the mole can be removed without scarring the skin, providing a much more aesthetically pleasing result.
Medical mole removal
While most moles are completely harmless, many aren’t. In fact, the Australian Cancer Council estimates that approximately two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with more than 750,000 people treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year[i]
With such a high prevalence of melanoma and non-melanoma cancers in Australia, if you have a mole that you suspect may be cancerous, don’t ignore it.
The Doctors at MeClinic can thoroughly examine any moles and if they suspect there is any possible cancer risk, they will recommend that the mole is cut out and sent for formal analysis.
While excising may leave a small scar behind, it is not worth taking the risk of ignoring it. Simply book a consultation with a doctor to ensure you are making an informed decision.
Immediately following the procedure, the skin around the area may appear a little discoloured for several days before returning to normal. You’ll simply need to regularly apply the ointment supplied and keep the area covered with a Band-Aid for a few days. If the mole/s were removed by excision, sutures will be removed after seven to ten days.
Depending on the method used to remove the mole, in most cases patients can expect to achieve results similar to these patients:
[i] Cancer Council Australia (http://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html)
Next steps for mole removal at ME Clinic
At ME Clinic, the cost of mole removal starts from $280.
With more than 35 years of experience treating skin, facial rejuvenation and cosmetic medicine, we have effective treatments and treatment plans to deal with any skin conditions and problems. Each year we treat hundreds of patients with moles and remove moles with minimal to no scarring.
Here at the Me Clinic, we take mole checks and removal very seriously. If you have a mole that you would like taken care of, make an appointment to see one of our doctors.
Book a consultation with one of our doctors for a personal mole assessment.