Moles are small coloured spots on the skin made up of cells called melanocytes, which produce the colour (pigment) in your skin.
Moles are often a brownish colour, although some may be darker or skin-coloured. They can be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and some have hair growing from them. Moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth edge.
Moles can change in number and appearance. Some fade away over time, often without you realising. They also sometimes respond to hormonal changes, for example during:
- pregnancy – when they may get slightly darker
- teenage years – when they increase in number
- older age – when they may disappear from 40 to 50 years of age onwards
Types of moles
There are many different types of moles, the most common are:
- junctional melanocytic naevi – these are usually brown, round and flat
- dermal melanocytic naevi – these are usually raised, pale and sometimes hairy
- compound melanocytic naevi – these are usually raised above the skin, light brown and sometimes hairy
.Rarer types of moles include:
- halo naevi – moles surrounded by a white ring where the skin has lost its colour
- dysplastic or atypical naevi (also known as Clark naevi) – unusual looking and slightly larger moles that can be a range of colours and either flat or bumpy
- blue naevi – dark blue moles
When and why do moles develop?
Some moles are present at birth, although most develop during the first 30 years of life. People with fair skin often have more moles than people with darker skin.
You are more likely to develop lots of moles, or a certain type of mole, if they are common in your family.
Where you were brought up may also make a difference – for example, if you have spent a lot of time in the sun, you may have a lot of small moles.
Most moles are completely harmless. However, they may be unsightly and affect your confidence. Moles can also be a nuisance, for example if they regularly catch on your clothing or you cut them while shaving. These moles can be surgically treated.
You will usually have to pay for cosmetic mole treatment and it can be carried out at our private mole removal clinic.
If you are having a mole removed because it is a nuisance, your surgeon may just shave the mole off so that it is level with your skin. This is known as a shave excision. The wound may then be closed with heat during a process called cauterisation.
How does it work?
Our private treatments are carried out by highly experienced local GPs and Associate Clinicians. They have a specific interest in dermatology in general practice and extensive expertise in minor surgery. You will receive a single appointment, including consultation and the procedure.
The price is fixed and includes treatment at our modern clinics and includes all consulting and surgical facilities, nursing staff, consumables including surgical treatment room, surgical instrumentation, local anaesthetic, dressings, biopsy assessment of lesions where appropriate together with a follow-up letter.
I have a mole I’d like removed
Please contact us to find out more about our mole removal service in Plymouth, Devon. Call us on 0333 332 2105 or complete the below form.
BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
We will send you a confirmation email or letter, directions to the clinic, your payment receipt and a consent form which you should read but which you do not need to sign until you are certain you wish to proceed with the removal of your lesion.
Your appointment includes a consultation with the clinician followed by the procedure, where it is agreed to proceed. The clinician will discuss your general health and medication. They will explain the procedure, whether there is a likelihood of recurrence and scarring, and how to prevent infection.
If you wish to proceed, you will sign a consent form. You will be awake throughout the operation and can ask questions. You will feel an initial sting from the local anaesthetic injection. The anaesthetic will wear off after a few hours and you can take paracetamol (not aspirin) if you have any mild discomfort.
Clinicians use a variety of techniques to remove skin lesions including excision and cautery. The procedure sometimes involves stitches or sutures. The clinician will advise you when you will need to make an appointment at your own surgery to have the stitches removed.
Although it is unlikely that your lesion represents a danger to your health, we may send it for examination and let you and your GP know the result as soon as we receive it. We will also send you a patient satisfaction questionnaire which we hope you will complete.