Mole Checks & Removal
Any new moles that appear after the age of 30 should be checked thoroughly by a professional as their risk is significantly higher.
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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed September 17th 2021
The average adult has 10-40 moles at any one time. The vast majority of these should cause absolutely no concern but, with 37 UK diagnoses of malignant melanoma every day, having your skin checked and looking out for any changes regularly is absolutely vital.
Some people find themselves unhappy with safe moles, either aesthetically or from them catching on clothing. There are unqualified beauty salons that offer mole removal but these can sometimes miss underlying skin cancers or be performed poorly, leaving scarring or marks on the surrounding skin.
Mole Mapping and Removal
Over the past 30 years, rates of malignant melanoma have risen faster than any other form of common cancer in the UK. Survival rates, however, are also amongst the highest due to a huge advance in early detection services. Most moles are harmless but, if you notice anything unusual or simply wish to have one removed, our mole mapping and removal service is designed to give you peace of mind and stop any form of cancer before it becomes an issue.
Advanced technology means that we are now able to detect malignant melanoma in its earliest stage, and the illness has one of the highest survival rates of any cancer. If you have any new moles after the age of 30 or if you notice any changes in existing moles, seeking professional help is quick, painless and really can save lives. For information on what to look out for when checking your moles at home, click here.
For a thorough consultation about your mole health checks and mole removal book a consultation with our Harley street dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon clinics in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Bucks and Northampton.
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What to Expect
The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 35 years with thousands of people placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.
Understanding if your mole poses any risk of danger is the first step to determining what kind of treatment, if any, you require. A consultant dermatologist will examine your skin and moles thoroughly using the most advanced technology, and will work with you to explain your skin health and any potential risks for the future.
If there is anything that causes concern about your mole(s), your dermatologist will explain the best way forward and outline precisely what your options are. Working alongside you, we can ensure any dangerous cells are removed as quickly as possible with minimum disruption to your daily life.
If your mole is cancerous or cause for concern, our consultant dermatologist will lead you through the best options for its safe removal. If you wish to remove a benign mole for aesthetic reasons we will work with you to find the most effective method for your needs. Our treatments include:
Excision of Cancer
Surgical excision is the most common method for the removal of cancerous moles. It is usually performed under local, rather than general, anaesthetic and the technique your dermatologist uses will depend on the size and nature of your mole. Most cases will be removed through the use of a scalpel and sewn up (if required) afterwards, however smaller areas can sometimes be removed through a shave excision in which a sharp razor literally slices the mole off.
Curettage and Cautery
If your lesion is in the very early stages of cancer, your dermatologist may recommend curettage and cautery; a traditional but highly effective alternative to surgery which, again, is performed under local anaesthetic. Using a scoop-like instrument called a curette your dermatologist will carefully scrape the skin cancer from the surface, thus removing the dangerous cells, whilst leaving the surrounding skin intact. The skin that has been ‘curetted’ will then be burnt off (cauterised) to aid healing and seal the wound.
Cryotherapy is normally reserved for benign lesions, but the treatment is occasionally used for very small skin cancers like Bowen’s Disease or Basel Cell Carcinoma.
The treatment is favoured for non-cancerous removal as it is significantly less invasive than many other methods. In the treatment your dermatologist will ‘freeze’ off your mole by carefully applying extreme cold to the area. This stops the supply of blood to the mole, causing it to blister and scab before falling off after 7-10 days.
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