Moles can be beautiful, a bane, or just bothersome, depending on how you feel about them and your skin. Often brown in colour and small, moles are mostly harmless. But it’s not always the case. Because of this, and cosmetic reasons, mole removal is becoming more commonplace.
Mole removal is a frequently used procedure that is used to treat and avoid more serious health conditions, like skin cancer. Knowing what your moles look like, how to protect them and what to check for, will help you identify when you need to get mole removal and when you don’t.
How and why do moles change?
Moles can be with you from birth or develop within your lifetime. The NHS advises that your moles will likely: change in colour when you’re pregnant, grow in number in your teenage years, and could actually disappear in your later years. All of which is completely normal.
The best way to find out if you mole is changing in an abnormal way is to see a dermatologist, or your GP. But thanks to the internet, there are some early indicators that will help you manage your number of visits.
Every mole is different but these questions should always be in your mind:
- Is it changing shape? Moles can be small, large, round or irregularly shaped. What you need to be aware of what shape they start off as and if they are changing from that shape. Any differences and you should seek medical advice.
- Has is gotten darker? Typically moles become darker during pregnancy, but if your moles are shifting in colour, or becoming more discoloured in patches, that’s when you need to consult an expert.
- Is it itchy or bleeding? Your moles should feel like any other part of your skin, meaning that if they become dry, itchy, inflamed, red or are bleeding, you need to be concerned. Think of your moles as warning lights for more serious issues.
Mole removal isn’t always a necessity, but is the best solution to moles that change. Bear in mind that moles can grow and change very rapidly so carrying out regular checks on yourself and keeping a record is very important, especially if you have lots of moles or a history of skin cancer in the family.
Mole removal clinics: can the NHS help?
Thanks to mole removal being necessary as early treatment for cancer, as well as the demand from those seeking cosmetic mole removal, finding a private clinic is easy. WhatClinic is one example, acting as WebMD meets Yelp for mole removal clinics in London and across the UK.
Using their ratings and reviews, you can find a clinic suited to your price range, and that you can trust. You can also speak to expert dermatologists if you are unsure about what kind of mole removal you need or want.
Mole removal can be carried out in a number of ways. The newest form is laser mole removal, however not all clinics will offer this. There is also mole shaving, which can help reduce the appearance of moles as a solution to cosmetic mole removal. Or, most commonly, there is excision mole removal where the whole mole is cut out. All these procedures are fast, relatively simple and carried out under local anaesthetic.
If you have been to a GP and referred to a dermatologist for your moles the the NHS can pay for your mole to be removed. This will be due to clear medical advice that not removing the mole will be dangerous for your health, even as precautionary measure. The NHS won’t pay for cosmetic mole removal.
Will mole removal leave a scar?
Yes, mole removal will leave a scar. The size and visible perception of which will be affected by the initial size and shape of the mole itself. Any incision into the skin will leave a scar, but with a typical procedure the visible marks will be minimal.
As mole removal will leave a mark, you should always carefully consider whether you really need to have cosmetic mole removal. If you want to get a better idea of scarring issues and how they will look, you can speak to a mole removal clinic about previous experience or former patients.
Always remember to check your moles regularly for any signs of changes or development, keep a record or pictures to help you track them. If in any doubt, consult a medical profession. It’s better to be safe than sorry.