Moles are small brown or black patches which form on the skin. They can be flat to the skin or elevated, and some may have hair growing from them. They are usually regular in shape, and formed in either a circular or oval outline. They are caused by clusters of skin cells which produce the pigment in your skin.
Most moles are completely harmless, however some can be cancerous and extremely dangerous if allowed to grow unchecked. It is therefore very important that moles are regularly reviewed by a trained practitioner, any developments in size and shape closely monitored, and any suspicious or worrying moles removed before developing into something more dangerous.
What is mole mapping and why is it so important?
What services do the Cadogan Clinic provide for monitoring and removing moles?
We offer mole check, mole mapping and mole removal services at our Clinic in Chelsea. Our team of top dermatologists will be able to diagnose whether any of your moles should be a cause for concern, as well as devise a bespoke treatment plan for you to keep on top of your mole population as time passes.
We recommend starting with a full body mole map that you can discuss in detail with your dermatologist. If your dermatologist feels that any should be removed immediately, these can be removed during the same visit.
If your dermatologist is worried that any of your moles may be cancerous but is unsure, we can have these biopsied and sent to the laboratory for review under a microscope ('histology'), and can guarantee results in 24 hours or less.
In the event a mole does then need to be removed, the procedure can be performed quickly and painlessly at the Clinic, using the most effective and efficient mole removal techniques available.
Our expert team also offers specialist Mohs surgery – the most advanced technique for removing certain skin cancers.
How can I tell if they are dangerous?
There are many different signs to watch out for if you think a mole or freckle may be cancerous. If they are getting bigger, the colour or shape is changing, they are sore and itchy or if it begins to bleed.
We recommend following the simple ABCDE Mole Checklist at home. If your mole has one or more of these symptoms, you should speak to an expert immediately:
+ Asymmetrical: irregular asymmetrical shape + Border: irregular, blurred or ragged border + Colours: uneven colour, or a mix of two or more colours (black, brown or pink) + Diameter: rapidly changing in size or larger than 6mm in diameter + Evolution: changed in size, shape or colour over time, or begins to bleed or itch
What should I do if I am worried about my moles?
Early detection is key: the sooner cancer or melanoma is diagnosed, the better your prognosis is likely to be. According to Cancer Research UK, approximately 2,300 people die from melanoma skin cancer every single year, despite 86% of skin cancer cases being preventable.
If you are worried about one or more of your moles it is therefore essential that you get them mapped and reviewed by an expert immediately.
The Mole Check and Mole Removal service at the Cadogan Clinic is run by a team of highly skilled consultant dermatologists on the General Medical Council Specialist Register, who specialise in mole checks and the treatment of skin cancer.
What are the various options for me?
At the Cadogan Clinic we offer a comprehensive range of treatments for those who are worried about their moles, ranging from a simple mole check to skin cancer surgery.
The literal meaning of the term ‘cryotherapy’ is ‘treatment using low temperature’. Cryotherapy treatment refers to the removal of skin lesions by freezing them, with the most commonly used agent being liquid nitrogen.
Moles are small clusters of coloured skin cells, which can form anywhere on the human body. Moles are usually harmless and people can live with them without any complications. However, moles can be cancerous, so if a mole looks suspicious it must be removed for immediate examination under a microscope (histology), to eliminate the risk of it developing further.
Mohs surgery, also known as chemosurgery, was created in 1938 by the American physician and general surgeon Dr Frederic E Mohs. The procedure is a microscopically-controlled surgery designed to treat common types of skin cancer. Mohs surgery allows for the removal of skin cancer with a very narrow surgical margin, which means there are very few tumour-free cells surrounding the cancer removed along with the affected cells.