What are the signs of a suspicious mole?
A mole that is standing out from any others in ways such as appearing darker, larger, more asymmetric or one that is changing in appearance over time are the most common signs that should see a dermatologist to check your mile.
Any mole that suddenly becomes itchy, scabby or starts bleeding, should also urge you to see a dermatologist. Any new pigmented lesion appearing after the age of 30 years should be checked by a doctor with special interest in skin. The dermatologist can then assess the mole further with a dermo scope.
At what stage should moles be removed?
When the doctor cannot clinically and/or dermoscopically confirm the mole is benign, then a histological diagnosis from the pathologist is necessary. Therefore, the mole needs to be completely excised and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The skin will be repaired with stitches which will have to be removed after 1-2 weeks. The day you come to have your stitches removed, the doctor will inform you about the final diagnosis made by the pathologist and whether further treatment is needed.
Can I have a mole removed that isn’t considered malignant?
Benign moles can also be removed for cosmetic reasons or for comfort. Some moles trouble patients because they are in cosmetically prominent positions. Others stick out and are catching on things such as your necklace, getting irritated by your bra strap or your belt. If this is the case, the doctor will discuss with you what is the best way to remove the mole, either by complete excision or by shave excision. Shave excision has the advantage that it does not require stitches.
Sometimes the doctor may advise against procedures because the risk of scarring in cosmetically sensitive areas or if the final result may not outweigh the cosmetic benefit. Talk to your doctor to discuss this in more detail.
How often should I get my moles checked?
A full body mole check is recommended for all adults on a yearly basis. Sometimes your doctor will recommend you check all of your moles or one specific mole on a more regular basis.
A regular full body mole check is particularly important in patients who use/used regular sunbeds, have had extensive sun exposure in the past (those grown up or lived many years in sunny climates), have experienced multiple sun burns, have a family or personal history of skin cancer or precancerous moles.
Can I have my moles checked at The Clinic?