When Should You Remove a Mole?

“Doctor, I have so many moles, there must be something wrong with my health. Please can you remove them?” This is a typical sentence you might hear in a dermatologist’s office, but in many cases there is nothing to worry about.

Often our doctors carefully examine every mole on a patient’s skin with special device called a  dermatoscope, and reassures the patient that majority of the moles are not harmful. “Moles should be monitored and checked. Whether or not you need to remove them, however, is a matter for the specialist “- says the Northway Medical Center’s Dermatologist Asta Dumbliauskiene.

When is it right to remove moles, and when is it not? When is the best time to remove them? We talk to Doctor Dumbliauskiene about these issues.

 

Doctor A.Dumbliauskienė reminds us: the best time to remove birthmarks and moles is when the sun outside is not too bright.

– What is a mole?

– Not all formations on the skin are moles by default. Sometimes people confuse moles and pigmented spots (freckles), skin tags, benign (non-cancerous) lentigines or seborrheic keratosis.

Moles – benign lesions on the skin. However they can change, in other words, become malignant, so it is very important to prevent this and keep an eye on them.

– What features should make a patient more cautious?

– Generally speaking, there is the so-called ‘ABC’ rule that can help you:

A – Asymmetry.  A mole that is asymmetrical, not round and regular for instance, or other asymmetric shapes, should raise suspicion.

B – Borders. A mole’s edges should be equal. If any edge is uneven, like jagged, it will would be worth checking with your doctor.

C – Colour. A mole should be a solid colour so if some of it gets darker, or darker dots appear, or all of it gradually becomes darker, you should get it checked out.

Dermatologists further evaluate with D – is dermatoscopic formations. This is investigated by viewing with a dermatoscope – as mentioned, the key device for dermatologist.

For the patient it is difficult to decide whether a mole dangerous or not. Sometimes, the patient comes in concerned about one irregularly-shaped mole, but after it is removed it turns out that it did not pose any danger. Instead – nearby – is a black, flat mole that the patient did not even suspect and, as it turns out, this mole can be abnormal and needs further investigation.

– Does the size of the mole matter?

– Although it is said that moles up to half a centimetre in diameter are harmless, it is best to be evaluated by a doctor. But if a mole begins to grow rapidly, evolve or change the answer is unequivocal – this should be of concern.

If moles are increasing and changing, and it is alarming, it is worthwhile to consult a doctor.

– Often women notice that moles appear after pregnancy and childbirth. Are these dangerous moles?

– During pregnancy there are changes in hormone activity so moles can increase, become swollen or alter slightly. However in most cases moles return to their original state.

– What happens if the doctor finds a mole that causes them concern?

– If the doctor finds a mole that looks abnormal, they cannot be removed by usual external methods. All such moles should be cut out surgically for histological examination.

– And if the moles are normal, and present no danger?

– If they do not raise suspicion, judged individually, then sometimes people ask us whether it is necessary to remove a mole. In these cases the answer is no, normal spot removal is not necessary. But if it is located in a place where it is constantly irritated, for example, around your neck or on your stomach, enduring the constant irritation of a chain or belt, or in an aesthetically disadvantaged area, then it can be removed.

A constantly irritated mole can quickly become damaged or painful, rather than one which is not in a place of easy irritation.

By the way, the most ‘vulnerable’ moles for this sort of irritation appear in the armpits, groin.

– How are benign moles are removed?

– Moles, which do not have any of the changes that may indicate their malignancy, can be removed at our clinic removes by applying Cosmetic Radiosurgery .

Radiosurgery is attractive because it causes minimal tissue damage. It’s like polishing, when tissues are removed layer by layer. The less damaged the tissue, the better wound healing.

– After treatment, are there are any traces of the former mole left?

– Currently there is no mole removal method which does not leave some sort of mark. After radiosurgery procedures a very blurry spot usually remains. At first a pink stain will be present, which will gradually become lighter. We can’t say that there will be not even the slightest trace left, but it is not as visible as if you were to have it removed surgically by scalpel. Radiosurgical method is even known as mole removal without cutting.

– After the procedure, can patients return to normal life?

– For the first day the patient can’t wash the wound, but from the next day showering is allowed. Visits to the sauna, swimming pool, steam room, or lying in the bath are not recommenced for 7-10 days. It’s also better not to plan any heavy exercise, or to go on a trip where you will be sweating heavily. And most importantly – for at least a month after the treatment do not to expose the area to the sun, or visit a sun bed. Otherwise the area might not recover normally and instead a pigmented stain can appear. Therefore, dermatologists do not advise the removal of moles from parts of the body that are open to the air in the summer. Such procedures are best to plan for a different time of year.

– Is the sun is dangerous for moles?

– Sunlight encourages normal spot growth, increases in size or other changes.

But even if we were to remove all moles located on the surface of human skin, the risk of developing melanoma would remain at around 50 percent. Therefore, sunscreen should protect not only moles but also the skin.

Younger girls should be reminded – not only do you need to watch out for the sun, but tanning salons as well. Man-made radiation is no less dangerous than UV rays from the sun.

And normally, people only think to protect their skin with protective creams when going to the beach. I would like to remind people that it is necessary to keep the skin protected on a daily basis, whenever it is exposed to the sun.

Moles receive additional negative solar charge, in addition to that wrinkles appears faster.

The skin needs to be protected, and the fact that it prevent malignancies and aging.

– Will those whose skin is darker need to be cautious as well?

– Yes, everyone should protect their skin from the sun. It’s just that generally, the darker the skin the lower SPF factor cream is needed.

– What is the riskiest part of body?

– For Men – ears, neck, shoulders and back. Often men forget to protect these places with a cream, and they tend to get the most sunlight.

Women – decollete, face and legs. Usually women forget to protect their legs appropriately.

Also, everyone needs to pay attention to their hands and feet. And sometimes melanoma develops in the pigmented part of the eye. To avoid this we always need eye protection on a sunny day  – the need to wear reliable glasses, that protect from the sun’s harmful rays.

 How Body Bureau Can Help:

We offer effective mole examination and removal services in Lithuania. Unchanged moles, and other pigment formations can be removed by various methods:

Surgical removal of moles and other pigmented structures using Radiosurgical method. Prices: £90-200

Surgical removal of moles and other pigmented structures using the CO2 laser Prices: £90-£220

For more information and to book an appointment, call us NOW 0207 617 7301 or email us info@bodybureau.co.uk