Mole checks

 

Dermatoscope - the 'gold standard' for state of the art mole analysis

Dermatoscope - the 'gold standard' for state of the art mole analysis

What are moles?

Moles are known medically as melanocytic naevi

They are very common and usually appear in childhood or adolescent years

 

Points of note about moles:

The average caucasion person has between 10 and 30 moles

It is unusual to develop new moles after 40yrs

The number of moles a person has may increase following sun exposure, pregnancy or immune-suppression

Moles are problematic for 2 main reasons:

  1. They can affect self-confidence due to being considered unsightly or ugly

  2. They can cause worry or fear of skin cancer

No matter which way a mole affects our patients, we are on hand to help

There is actually a huge array of different types of moles and they can affect the skin, nail-beds or even the back of the eye!

Using clinical examination and state-of-the-art ‘dermoscopy’, we can assess your mole and advise you on the options

 

Why are mole checks important?

Skin cancer is becoming more common year on year, with rates now more than 4 times higher than the early 70’s

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and, while it can occur in any skin type, is much more common in fair skin-types

Approximately 13500 people are diagnosed with melanoma in the UK every year, making it the 5th most common cancer in males (7th in females)

The incidence of melanoma rises as we get older but it is also the 2nd commonest cancer under 50yrs

The biggest risk factor for melanoma is ultraviolet (UV) exposure which includes sunlight and sunbeds

It is strongly linked with suffering ‘sun-burn’ in the early years

People with fair skin who live, or have lived, in sunny climates have a higher risk

Australia has led the way in terms of sun-protection and have been promoting the slogan “Slip, slop, slap!” for many years (This public health program entails slipping on a shirt, slopping on sunscreen and slapping on a hat)

Maybe we should follow suit?

Survival rates from melanoma are much higher if this cancer is diagnosed and treated earlier

Consider the “ABCDE” of moles:-

  • Asymmetry

  • Border

  • Colour

  • Diameter

  • Evolution or enlargement

It is additionally worth considering the ‘ugly duckling’ sign which is based on the fact that moles in the same individual tend to resemble one another, and that melanomas often deviate from this pattern

If in doubt about any new or existing mole, consult your doctor soon

 

What can I do about my mole?

Dr Cormac believes in choice

Our patients decide whether they want a mole removed - It doesn’t matter whether the choice is because the mole is causing concern or is cosmetically unacceptable

 

Ultimately, there are two main choices:

1 – Keep it (with advice on how to monitor it)

2 – Lose it – effectively this will mean getting it cut off or cut out depending on the type of mole

Actually, there are a few more options, including:

- Taking a small piece (a biopsy) to have it analysed - this is usually done to make sure the mole isn't cancerous

- Referral to a regional dermatology clinic - this is uncommon, and relates more to moles in certain regions of the body

 

Regarding mole removal, it is essential to understand the following:

  • Removal should be carried out by a doctor

  • Moles can be removed from any area but some may require more complex surgery

  • You will be provided with a full explanation of the proposed procedure and follow-up arrangements

  • It is normal to send the mole tissue for lab analysis to confirm absence of cancer cells

  • Mole removal leaves a small wound which requires after care - relevant information will be provided

  • There may occasionally be a need for a further procedure

  • Mole removal will leave a small scar

  • Depending on the size and shape of the mole, different treatment options may be considered to remove it:

    • If small, laser removal may be a suitable option

    • Shave removal is effective when the mole protrudes from the skin surface

    • Excision involves removal of the mole with the addition of a small piece of skin surrounding the mole. This will include skin closure using stitches which are left in place for 5-10 days

 

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Price for mole check £50

Prices for mole removal start from £245*

*This includes the cost for lab analysis


If you have any questions about the treatment or would like a callback to discuss, please complete the form below.

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