The procedure used at the clinic is straightforward and the result is a barely visible scar.
All moles removed at the clinic are sent to St Mary's pathology department for histology to confirm what they are and to exclude cancer.
There are a number of ways to remove moles. In all cases, it is desirable that the skin heals with the least possible scar. The method most often used at Orchard Cosmetic is simple and heals beautifully.
Using a little local anaesthetic to numb the skin, the border of the mole is outlined with a scalpel. The mole then peels easily off the skin. The base from where the mole has been removed is cauterised, which seals any tiny capillary blood vessels and gives a nice flat wound. No stitches are needed at all. Special skin tape is used to cover the small wound and when this falls off after a week to 10 days the skin is beautifully healed underneath.
Of course this method is only suitable for benign (non-cancerous) moles.
Moles and skin tags on the neck and rest of the body can be removed in the same way. Genital moles are not suitable for removal at the clinic as these need to be assessed by a genitourinary specialist.
Moles which have undergone recent change should raise the suspicion of melanoma.
Changes in a mole which you should have checked by a doctor are:
Any change in a pre-existing mole, 1/3rd of melanomas arise this way.
A mole which develops an irregular, jagged-edged border.
Simple moles should not be bigger than the size of the blunt end of a pencil, 6mm or so, melanomas are usually greater than 7mm in size.
Mixed colours in a mole raise the suspicion of melanoma i.e., pale and dark brown or black/blue pigment present.
Simple benign moles are regular in shape, melanomas tend to be irregular.
Any symptoms such as itching, bleeding, crusting should suggest that the mole be looked at by a medical professional.
Persons with a family history of Malignant melanoma should be especially careful about unprotected sun-exposure and should keep a check on their existing moles and watch for new moles developing.