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5 May 2011

Cosmetic surgery for moles – Here are the facts

The first thing to say about moles is if you have a new one, or an old mole has started to change in any way, see your GP straight away. Malignant Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK and it's vital to catch it early. If you have a mole that has grown, become hairier, spread, become lumpy or has changed colour, don't delay.

Most moles, however, are merely candidates for cosmetic surgery. If you don't like yours and feel self-conscious about it, it's usually perfectly possible to have it removed. And it really isn't a big deal.

Here's some mole facts to help you decide how to proceed. If you have any mole-related questions, please feel free to contact us or drop in and ask. There's no obligation.

Moles can turn up virtually anywhere. They're usually brown but can also appear blue, black or a fleshy pink colour. They sometimes appear alone, and at other times in groups. They can vary in shape and texture, from flat and smooth to raised and bumpy. Most people have at least one, and they're usually completely harmless.

Things like puberty and pregnancy can change the nature and appearance of moles radically, making them grow and change colour. So a changing mole isn't always a malignant one. However, an enlarged mole can turn from something insignificant to a mark that makes your life a misery.  

If you leave your moles alone, they might eventually disappear or become lighter, but if moles are making you feel ugly there are steps you can take.

Flat surface moles are often removed by numbing the skin and clipping the mole off with surgical scissors or a scalpel, which usually leaves a faint, flat scar. If your mole needs to be completely removed, excised from deeper within your skin, the scar can be more noticeable using this method, in which case, laser removal could be your best bet.  

It isn't usually necessary to have an anaesthetic with laser treatment. It just tingles or slightly burns as it seals the blood vessels – there's no need for cuts or stitches and the likelihood of scarring is much lower. The resulting scab tends to drop off after a couple of weeks, just leaving a little redness which soon fades. Bear in mind that you might need to return for several sessions to remove your mole, depending on how large and deep it is.

Ultimately it's your decision. Just remember that the humble mole often goes by another name, a much more glamorous one – the beauty spot! It might turn out to be so much a part of your personality that you'd feel naked without it!



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