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22nd Feb 2017 10:03am | By Editor
Have you got moles? If you do, you are probably more or less aware of their existence but that doesn’t mean you’re keeping a close eye on how healthy they are. And you really should be.
Even without the baking sun of summer, the risks of your moles developing from beauty spots into something more serious aren’t completely gone. Here, we look at what to watch out for with your moles and where to go for mole removal if it becomes necessary.
Mole removal: medical or aesthetic?
Mole removal clinics offer their services for both medical and cosmetic reasons, with a range of treatment types on offer depending on the clinic.. However, private mole removal clinics will mostly be frequented by those seeking mole removal for aesthetic reasons.
If you are referred to a mole removal clinic by a medical professional, typically you won’t get a choice of clinic and the types of procedure will be determined by the medical reasons of the removal.
Mole removal invasiveness varies depending on the procedure and why it is being carried out. For example, at the lowest end of the scale, a mole can be shaved down. Or at the most invasive end, it may need to be completely removed with a surgical incision.
Only medical professionals can tell you if you need a mole removed
The most important rule that anyone with moles should remember is: if it's changed in shape, size or colour, get it checked out.
Moles may be with you from birth and change with your body during adolescence. During these early growth years, keeping an eye on the health of your moles may be challenging so keeping up with regular GP visits is important.
Regardless of your age, any change to the colour of your mole, whether it grows darker or tonal, has an overall shape shift or otherwise develops in a new way, should be met with a visit to a specialist.
WebMD recommends that, in particular, you should be aware of any new moles that appear around the age of 25 onwards, as these could be cancerous. Moles don’t always offer signs that something is wrong, so if they do, you should get it checked.
If you're observant and careful, getting a cancerous mole removed won’t be a big deal, but a sign you’re keeping yourself safe. Take Hugh Jackman, who recently had his sixth skin cancer mole removed. By keeping an eye on new moles and getting them seen quickly, he has avoided dealing with a more serious, more developed condition.
Take pictures of your moles or use mole mapping
If you have a lot of moles, or just aren’t able to quite recall what your moles look like from day to day, take pictures! We’re all got mobile phones to hand, so why not take some quick snaps of your moles every week or month to make sure they’re looking the same.
Alternatively, private clinics offer mole mapping. Mole mapping involves using computer assisted technology to scan and record your moles to be used to determine the appearance of new moles, make assessments of any potential melanoma characteristics and otherwise help document moles if hard to see places, such as your back.
If you have any doubt about a mole, get it checked by a professional as soon as possible.
Protect your moles for drying out or being damaged
As we head towards the summer months, try to be smart by keeping yourself safe and avoid situations that can cause your moles to develop, such as too much direct sunlight. Regardless of the time of year, you should consider your mole health an important part of your skincare routine.
Some key things to remember when you have moles are:
● Wear sunscreen whenever you're spending time in the sun, regardless of how sunny it is.
● Alternatively, find a moisturiser that contains SPF, so you’re not always having to apply sunblock.
● Moisturising your moles to keep them healthy, just like sensitive skin.
● Avoid rough materials that could damage your moles, leading to them getting infected or otherwise damaged.
Keep your moles at the forefront of your skincare routine. Watch out for any changes in colour or size, while keeping them moisturised and protected from the sun. If you still feel like you want them removed, or your GP tells you you need to, there are any number of mole removal clinics that can help you.
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