Mole removal is a simple procedure that can be conducted by a dermatologist at the Harley Street skin clinic in London. You can have a mole removal for cosmetic reasons, but it can sometimes be necessary to remove a mole because there is a risk of skin cancer.
Your Guide to Moles and Mole Removal
Alternative names: Mole, naevus, nevus, junctional naevus, compound naevus, intra-dermal naevus, congenital melanocytic naevus, halo naevus, atypical naevus, dysplastic naevus, birthmark, epidermal naevus, naevus sebaceous, naevus lipomatosus superficialis.
Moles, also known as naevi, are dark spots that can appear anywhere on the body and can be raised or flat. They are made from small aggregates of melanocytes - the cells that provide the pigment in ones skin. Sometimes moles are present at birth, but usually they develop in childhood. Genetics can play an important role in the likelihood of an individual developing moles. Sun exposure is also a causal factor.
Moles are usually brown but can vary from flesh-coloured, to pink, black or blue. They are sometimes flat (junctional), may be raised and rounded (intradermal) or warty looking (compound). They are usually quite symmetrical, circular and evenly pigmented.
Most moles are not a cause for concern and present a purely cosmetic problem. However, moles can occasional undergo changes that lead to them becoming cancerous i.e. they turn into a malignant melanoma. If a mole is changing in size, shape or colour, it may be coming 'atypical' or 'dysplastic'. Moles that look like this have a higher risk of becoming melanoma, which is why it is essential to have them checked if you have any concern.
For cosmetic removal, a shave excision is the most satisfactory treatment for getting rid of protuberant moles. If a mole presents worrying signs, surgical excision is the best option: our doctors at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic offer consultation and treatment services to anyone concerned about their moles and will perform mole removal if necessary or desirable.
Having a mole removed is very easy. You will only need to have a local anaesthetic and the procedure can be carried out at the clinic. Depending on the amount of tissue that has to be removed, you may need stitches and there could be a small scar after the procedure. Your doctor can tell you what to expect when you discuss the removal. The removed mole can be checked in the lab for signs of cancer. You may need further treatment if any cancer cells are found.
A cosmetic mole removal can be performed just because you are unhappy with your mole. If you are feeling self-conscious or a raised mole is causing problems by getting caught on your clothing, it might be worth considering a removal. Mole removal can also be required for medical reasons. If you have noticed changes in the size, shape, colour or appearance of a mole, it is a good idea to see a dermatologist at the London clinic. The doctor can assess the risk of skin cancer and perform a removal if necessary.
For further information on malignant melanoma, please see the British Association of Dermatologists website leaflet on melanoma.