What is a mole?
A mole is a growth on the skin that’s made up of pigmented (dark-coloured) cells. Moles are very common, and they’re usually harmless. But sometimes moles can be cancerous, so checking them regularly is important.
When should you consider a mole check?
If you have a family history of melanoma (skin cancer), many large moles, or a new mole you are worried about, it’s time to get them checked out. Also, if you notice any changes in an existing mole—if it gets bigger, changes shape or colour, or becomes painful—then make an appointment with your GP or Dermatologist right away.
What are the different types of mole?
There are two types of moles: benign and malignant. Benign moles do not require treatment, while malignant (cancerous) moles may need excised (removed) or radiation therapy.
A Dermatologist can diagnose skin cancer. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. All three can be treated with surgery that removes the cancerous cells and radiation therapy for those that recur or spread.
Should you have a malignant mole, your Dermatologist will speak to you about an ongoing treatment and follow-up plan.
What are the options for mole removal?
Mole removal is a common procedure that can be performed in our clinic rooms with local anaesthesia. The procedure is quick and simple, and very little recovery time is necessary.
The safest way to remove moles is by excisional biopsy, which involves surgically cutting out the mole and stitching up the skin around it. This method reduces the risk of scarring and can help prevent the regrowth of cancerous cells. Another option is to use a laser to destroy the mole without removing it from your skin. This method can take several sessions over several weeks before your skin clears up completely.
How long is the recovery from mole removal?
Following excisional biopsy mole removal, there may be some swelling and bruising in the area for a few days. Stitches are usually dissolvable over the following 2 weeks but you should be able to get back to your normal activities within a couple of days.