Mole Removal

About mole removal

Whether they're a beauty spot, barely noticed or the bane of your life you will have moles on your body. In fact an average an adult will have between 10-40 moles on their body, irrespective of sex and skin tone. While most skin moles are easily ignored some may be unsightly making you feel self-conscious or cause discomfort, particularly if rubbed by clothing. Others may be more serious presenting a symptom of potential health problems or other skin issues. The skin is the largest and most noticeable organ of the body, which is why it's essential that your skin is healthy and you are happy. 

 

TREATMENTS FOR MOLE REMOVAL

Our dermatologist can remove moles within our clinic, and occasionally during your initial consultation. If several moles are being treated further visits will be required to ensure each mole can be safely removed. We have two methods of treating moles, shaving and excision. 

  • SHAVING

Moles that protrude from the skin can simply be shaved away by the dermatologist under local anaesthetic. A scalpel is used to shave the mole allowing it to be flush with the surrounding skin. Then using an electrical instrument, the doctor cauterizes the area to stop any bleeding. A topical antibiotic is then applied to reduce risk of infection. Shaving removes the protruding surface of the mole, but it can leave mole cells beneath the skin and may grow back. Shaving is a relatively straightforward and painless that requires no stitches. A pink mark may be left, which will fade over time.

  • EXCISION

For excision of the mole, under a local anaesthetic, the dermatologist uses a scalpel to cut the mole and a border of good skin surrounding it. A small stitch in the skin is required and will either be placed deep within the skin, or on the upper surface, depending on the depth of the excision. A small scar will be left, which will fade over time.

 

Following removal we send all moles to a specialist lab for a biopsy to ensure no cancer is present, this is our standard practice to ensure we always provide the best and most responsible care for all our patients. Please be assure that cutting a cancerous mole will not make the cancer spread. 

After a mole is removed your skin will heal normally. If the mole grows back, immediately make another appointment to see your dermatologist as this is a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. 

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Causes and Types of Moles

WHAT ARE MOLES?

A mole is a coloured spot, or growth, on the skin that develops when pigment cells (melanocytes) grow in clusters. They are usually one colour, most frequently black, brown or tan, but they can also be red, pink or blue and tend to be round. Some moles are visually similar to freckles, but where freckles are always flat moles can be either flat or slightly raised. Moles should look the same month to month, however as the years pass moles usually change slowly and they become raised or their colour may change or they may develop hairs. Some moles may not change at all, while others may slowly disappear over time.

Mole Removal | Harley Medical GroupThe medical term for a mole is melanocytic naevi, your dermatologist may refer to 'Nevus' when referring to one mole or 'Nevi' for two or more. They can appear anywhere on the skin including on the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles and palms, and even under the nails, either alone or in groups. Moles occur in all races and skin colors - they can even be seen on animals! It is perfectly normal for a person to have differing moles (size, shape, colour) across their body; differences in moles across the body is not automatically indicative of a health related symptom.


CAUSES OF MOLES

Moles occur when cells,  called melanocytes, grow clustered together rather than being spread throughout the skin. Melanocytes make the pigment that gives skin its natural colour.One of the most common causes of skin moles is UV light; skin with greater exposure to the sun tends to have more moles, this exposure may also cause them to darken in appearance as the melanin reacts with the light. Exposure during childhood years plays a particularly large role in the number of moles person may have. However, moles may also occur in sun-protected areas like the palms, soles, and genitals.

Experts have also identified a hormonal link with the appearance and changes in moles. Moles frequently develop in the teenage years, they may get darker during pregnancy and they can fade away completely from around the age of 50. Finally studies have established the genetic inheritability of moles; the genes we inherit from our parents is a mafor factor in determining the number of moles on the body. 

 

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Types of mole

Whle we are all well acquainted with the concept of a mole, few of us are aware of the various types and groups:

There are three basic groups of mole: regular / symmetrical; irregular; cancerous

Regular / Symmetrical

An regular, or 'common', mole is usually symmetrical with regular distinct edges, even pigmentation and is approximately 5-6mm or smaller in diameter. They can be smooth or have a dome-like surface and may have hair growth; hair growth from a mole is unrelated to its cancer potential. Regular moles are usually found on skin regularly exposed to the sun and have the potential to turn into skin cancer, but it is a rare occurrence.

Irregular

An irregular, or 'atypical', mole is usually asymmetrical with irregular or indistinct blurry edges, multiple colours and tend to be larger than regular moles. They are often flat or nearly flat and can be found anywhere on the body but are most commonly located on sun-exposed skin; though they often appear on the trunk and more rarely on the face.  While irregular moles themselves rarely turn into melanoma or cancer they can signal the potential for developing melanomas over time. Having more than 20-25 irregular moles or a giant congenital mole greater than approximately 8-10 inches in size may increase the person's overall risk of developing melanoma. Those at higher risk should watch their moles regularly for any changes. 

Mole Removal | Harley Medical GroupCancerous

Cancerous moles are called melanomas, they are highly irregular and are often asymmetrical. People are at higher risk of getting a melanoma if they have four or more atypical moles, have already had a melanoma or have a first-degree relative who had melanoma. The risk of melanoma is also greatly enhanced in chronically exposed skin, particularly on the shoulders, upper back, head, and neck. Ears are a particularly common site of atypical moles because of the difficulty in applying sunscreen and frequent sun exposure. Women have increased risks of atypical moles, particularly on the lower leg and calf. 

It is rare, though not impossible, for regular moles to evolve into a melanoma over time, therefore it is important to watch all moles closely for change or atypical features. People with greater than 50 or several abnormal moles, monthly skin self-examinations and at least annual full-body moles exam by a dermatologist are important in the early detection of abnormal moles and melanoma.

When checking moles always remember your ABCs and if it has any of the following consult your dermatologist:

  • A - Asymmetrical
  • B - Irregular borders
  • C - Multiple colours
  • D - Diameter bigger than a standard pencil rubber
  • E - Evolving, changing, or new

 

Beyond their grouping moles also have unique names based on their features:

Acquired Moles

Acquired moles are moles that appear during childhood and adulthood they are the most common type of mole, and it is usually caused by repeated sun exposure, Most of these moles are benign and pose no risk, although sometimes they can turn into cancerous moles with age.

Compound Moles

Compound Moles, also know as Cmopound Nevi, show signs of both intradermal and junctional nevi, with melanocyte cells located in the dermis and dermo-epidermis junction. These moles usually have a central raised area with flat areas around the edges. They usually have distinct borders and even pigmentation.

Congenital Moles 

Congenital moles, also known as Congenital Nevi, are moles that are present at birth and occur in about one in 100 people and are often called birthmarks. They range in size and are caused by melanocyte cells in the dermis (middle layer of skin), epidermis (outer layer of skin), or both. Congenital nevi can be at risk of developing into melanoma later in life and should be monitored as the person enters into adolescence and adulthood.

Dysplastic Moles

Dysplastic moles, also know as Dysplastic Nevi, is the medical term for irregular or atypical moles. They are generally larger than average and irregular in shape. These nevi are somewhat more likely to become melanoma. In fact, people who have 10 or more dysplastic nevi have a 12 times higher chance of developing melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer. 

Halo Moles

Halo moles, also known as Halo Nevi, are raised moles that have a ring of skin around them that has lost pigmentation due to inflammatory infiltrating cells. Experts are still trying to understand why this reaction occurs, but if diagnosed properly, these moles are benign and require no treatment unless for cosmetic reasons.

Intradermal Moles

Intradermal moles, or Intradermal Nevi, are flesh colored moles that often blend in with your surrounding skin. Their pigmentation is not as dark as junctional melanocytic moles because they are located in the dermis, or the middle layer of your skin. These moles usually develop in late childhood or throughout adulthood and are very common. Intradermal moles are usually benign.

Junctional Melanocytic Moles

Junctional melanocytic moles, or Junctional melanocytic nevi, are moles that occur from an accumulation of melanocytes where the dermis and epidermis meet. These moles are typically slightly raised with regular borders and dark pigmentation, although they can range in colour from tan to dark brown. People normally acquire these moles in childhood to early adulthood, because, as we age, it is common for melanocytes to migrate down to deeper layers of the skin.

Spitz Moles

Spitz moles, or Spitz Nevi, often looks like melanoma resembling it so closely that a dermatologist cannot tell by looking at it. The mole is often pink, raised, and dome-shaped, however it can also have different colours in it such as red, black, and brown. It may bleed, and it can have an opening that oozes. An uncommon type of mole, it usually appears on the face or limbs and grows rapidly for a few months; after the initial growth period, if untreated, it may remain static for years. Though most commonly found in children Spitz nevi can also develop in adults. 

 

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The Benefits of Mole Removal

The benefits of mole removal

There are several long-term benefits from:

Emotional

Mole Removal | Harley Medical Group

While most of us don't notice the moles we have on our bodies, so for some people they can significantly impact their confidence. When we treat moles are are not just treating the growth, but also the emotions that come with that.  

Aesthetic

Moles on the face can be enhance the natural aesthetics  to make them even more striking - think Cindy Crawford. Others have embraced their beauty marks to make them into a statement, one of the most famous is Marilyn Monroe. However, some people feel that their mole draws unwelcome attention; several of our clients have told us they felt people were staring at their mole during a conversation. Removal of moles that are deemed a focal point can revigorate self-assurance

Physical

A mole that comes into contact with clothing such as a waistband or bra can rub and be bothersome, become uncomfortable and bleed. Mole removal can stop this physical discomfort, while broadening clothing options. 

Health

Some moles are a sign of health problems, the most notable being cancer. Mole removal can removal the cancerous cells. All moles removed by our Dermatologist are sent for a biopsy – peace of mind


There are limitations and when moles are removed a small scar, which gradually fades, will be left behind. Mole removal is meant for improvement, not perfection and is important to have realistic goals and expectations.

 

Book your consultation with a Dermatologist

Treatments

Treatments for mole removal

Our dermatologist can remove moles within our clinic, and occasionally during your initial consultation. If several moles are being treated further visits will be required to ensure each mole can be safely removed. We have two methods of treating moles, shaving and excision. 

SHAVING

Moles that protrude from the skin can simply be shaved away by the dermatologist under local anaesthetic. A scalpel is used to shave the mole allowing it to be flush with the surrounding skin. Then using an electrical instrument, the doctor cauterizes the area to stop any bleeding. A topical antibiotic is then applied to reduce risk of infection. Shaving removes the protruding surface of the mole, but it can leave mole cells beneath the skin and may grow back. Shaving is a relatively straightforward and painless that requires no stitches. A pink mark may be left, which will fade over time.

EXCISION

For excision of the mole, under a local anaesthetic, the dermatologist uses a scalpel to cut the mole and a border of good skin surrounding it. A small stitch in the skin is required and will either be placed deep within the skin, or on the upper surface, depending on the depth of the excision. A small scar will be left, which will fade over time.

 

After removal we send all moles to a specialist lab for a biopsy to ensure no cancer is present, this is our standard practice to ensure we always provide the best and most responsible care for all our patients. Please be assure that cutting a cancerous mole will not make the cancer spread. 

 

After a mole is removed your skin will heal normally. If the mole grows back, immediately make another appointment to see your dermatologist as this is a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. 

 

Book your consultation with a Dermatologist

OUR Experts

Our dermatology experts

Skin Experts | Harley Medical GroupFrom the beginning aimed and succeeded in establishing The Harley Medical Group as a leader in the field of Laser & Skin Treatments and Dermatology, with clinics throughout the UK. Our fully qualified medical team are specially selected for their experience, expertise and approachability as well as their friendliness. This means our clients know that they are not meeting with sales people but trained experts, who have the time and the expertise to explain procedures in detail and answer all of your questions. In fact, we’re happy to say that our team is amongst the best.

We are committed to continually improving and refining our services, while researching the latest advances, thereby provide the highest standard of treatment that the medical profession can offer. Our dermatological treatments are performed in our own clinics, all of which are registered with The Care Quality Commission and the HIW in Cardiff. And following your meeting with our Dermatologist you will receive full aftercare instructions and will continue to receive any support you need. 

Prices

mole removal Treatment Prices

All appointments with our dermatologist require a £140 consultation fee to be paid at the time of booking. 

Your dermatologist will talk to you about the best treatment for your moles.

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Single treatment£125
Course of 3 treatments£318

 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will happen at my mole removal consultation?

At your consultation you will our specialist dermatologist who is highly experienced at mole checks and mole removal. Your dermatologist will perform a thorough mole check, advising on whether further removal treatment is required. You may have specific concerns and questions about the different methods of treatment, which you can discuss at this time. The method of removal depends on the size and shape of the mole and will be decided in your consultation.

For the protection of our clients, removed, pigmented moles and some lesions will be sent for expert medical histology analysis. Additional histology charges will be added to removal costs at consultation. Please be aware, mole removal can and should only be performed by a dermatologist. 

How often should I have my moles checked?

If you have a normal amount of moles (between 10-40), we would only recommend visiting your dermatologist if you have any concerns, have noticed any changed or have questions. We often advise that you ask a friend or partner to check your moles occasionally to see if they can identify changes over time that might require further investigation with a dermatologist. 

However, if you are in a higher risk group for melanoma you should consider booking a mole check and mole map both every six to twelve months. 

Can I get new moles as an adult?

Yes. While many moles arise in the first years of life, the total number of moles normally peaks in the second or third decade of life to an average of 35. Most people do not develop new regular moles after the age of 30. Any new moles that do appear after age 35 may require close observation, medical evaluation, and possible biopsy. A brand-new mole in an adult may be a sign of an evolving abnormal mole or early melanoma. It is important to have any new or changing mole evaluated by a dermatologist.

It should be noted that adults often develop non-mole growths. There are many mole simulators, including freckles, lentigines, liver spots, seborrheic keratoses, melanomas, neurofibromas, hemangiomas, skin tags, cafĂ© au lait macules, and pigmented basal cell cancers. The optimal way to distinguish between these other growths is by consultation with a dermatologist.

Can I shave my own mole?

Never try to shave off a mole at home, always seek the help of a dermatologist. 

There are several reasons why you should never self-treat moles:

  • If the mole contains skin cancer, some of the cancer cells can stay in the skin — and even spread.
  • You can disfigure your skin, causing a scar or other permanent reminder.
  • You can cause an infection.

What health concerns are related to moles?

While the vast majority of moles are not dangerous, the most common health concern relating to moles is a form of skin cancer called melanoma. 

Melanomas is the most common cancer in young women and is normally found on the lower leg, for men however it is more commonly found on the chest and back. It is most likely to be identified in moles that look different than other existing moles or those that first appear after age 25.

At The Harley Medical Group we highly recommend regularly checking your moles, either with a mirror or with assistance, paying special attention to areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun. If you observe any changes in a mole's colour, height, size, or shape, you should have a dermatologist  evaluate it. You should also see medical advice if your moles bleed, ooze, itch, or become tender or painful.

 

Caught early, melanoma can be cured, without treatment, melanoma can spread and be deadly. By performing self-exams of your skin you catch melanoma early.

 

The following ABCDEs are important characteristics to consider when examining moles. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist. It could be cancerous.

  • Asymmetry - one half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border - the border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • Colour - the color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.
  • Diameter - the diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  • Evolution - the mole is changing in size, shape, or color.