Moles are markings of different colours and sizes that lie on top of the skin located on the face or anywhere on the body. Moles can be raised and appear as if they’re hanging from a thread or very flat against the skin in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Most moles are considered to be harmless and just a cosmetic nuisance. However, it is time to seek a doctor or dermatologist to examine a mole when its shape or colour changes or if it becomes irritated.
Moles are so common that 1 baby in every 100 is born with a mole as reported by the American Academy of Dermatology. However, some people view moles as a cosmetic defect and are embarrassed by moles especially if it can be seen by others. A mole can affect a person’s self-confidence if it is extremely large and in a prominent area such as the face.
What is the Danger of Having Moles?
A skin specialist should be consulted about any moles on the body to determine if they indicate a serious condition. If the specialist determines the mole is causing complications he may advise the mole be removed. He will advise removal of the mole through cosmetic surgery if the mole has changed its shape or colour, is cosmetically harmful, causes pain, or its location restricts movement.
Surgical removal of a mole is a simple procedure that only requires a doctor’s visit to his office or an out-patient stay at a hospital or other medical facility.
What is Involved in the Surgical Removal of a Mole?
The surgery requires a local anaesthetic applied to the area around the mole. You will be awake during the surgery but will feel no pain. Your dermatologist may administer a sedative to help you remain calm and relaxed while he performs the surgery. Sometimes neither a local anaesthetic nor a sedative is required during surgery. The type of surgery you’re undergoing and the number of moles, their location, and sizes determine the need for an anaesthetic or a sedative.
There a several techniques to choose from. The condition of the mole, its location, and the size determines which technique is used to remove the mole. The average mole removal procedure is completed with a scalpel and after removal stitched closed. Flat moles close to the skin are shaved off to become level with the skin that surrounds it.
Other procedures used to remove a mole are freezing it using cold liquid nitrogen or destroying the mole with a laser. Whatever procedure the doctor decides on will leave a scar. The type of procedure determines how big the scar is and if it’s noticeable. A scab will appear during the healing process that usually disappears within two weeks. Inflammation in the area disappears in a few weeks. Almost all surgical scars fade dramatically during the first year.
Thousands of procedures to remove moles are successful without any major concerns every year. Your skin specialist will explain the risks you face with each procedure and he/she will recommend the best way to proceed with your particular case.
Your doctor my send a sample of the mole to a lab for tests.
Is Mole Removal Possible on the NHS?
If you need a mole removed because of a health hazard such as the mole could be damaged while shaving or because of the possibility of skin cancer then the NHS may decide to remove the mole. However, if a general practitioner or dermatologist determines the mole to be only a cosmetic concern they will probably recommend private surgical removal.