What are moles and what causes them?

Moles are small, coloured spots on the skin. Moles are formed by clusters of pigmented cells known as melanocytes, which give skin pigment their dark colour. They generally appear during childhood and adolescence in Singapore. Most people develop around 10 to 40 moles, some of which may change in appearance or fade away with  time. Whether or not moles darken is  dependent on factors such as hormones, genetic predisposition, and sun exposure. This also explains why pregnant women and teenagers tend to have a higher chance of moles growing or darkening.

Mole

Are there different types of moles?

There are three main types of moles:

  •     Congenital moles. Congenital moles are present at birth. They are usually flat and vary in colour, but most congenital moles don’t usually result in cancer.
  •     Acquired moles. Acquired moles are moles developed later in life; most are brown and appear due to sun damage. They are also round without any significant changes over time.
  •     Atypical moles. Atypical moles are at a higher risk of becoming cancerous. Unlike congenital and acquired moles, atypical moles are slightly darker and have irregular-shaped borders.

Moles change slowly over the years, like becoming raised or changing colour, which explains why there are raised moles.

What’s the difference between a mole and a freckle?

While similar in appearance and caused by extra pigmented skin cells, moles and freckles are actually quite different.

Freckles are often genetic and brought on by sun exposure. They form due to an overproduction of melanin, the agent responsible for pigmentation in your hair and skin.

Moles can also be formed by sun exposure, but grow in a cluster and brought on by melanocytes.

The fastest way to tell the difference between a mole and freckle is to feel the area — moles are often raised from the skin’s surface, while freckles tend to be flat. Moles are also usually a bit darker than freckles and deeper in the skin.

Lastly, the biggest difference is that freckles have zero potential for malignant transformation, while moles have the chance of becoming cancerous.

How can I tell if a mole is dangerous?

While most moles are innocuous, several might look unsightly, and a very small percentage might pose a risk for developing melanoma, a form of skin cancer. If you have concerns about your mole being cancerous, consult your doctor for a detailed examination. . When it comes to looking out for the signs of skin cancer, here are some things you might want to look out for:

 

  •     Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  •     Border. The border or edges of the mole are irregular, blurred or ragged.
  •     Colour. The colour of the mole has different shades, ranging from tan, brown, black, red, white and blue.
  •     Diameter. The diameter of the mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
  •     Evolution. The mole is changing in shape, size or colour.

Why remove moles?

Apart from cosmetic reasons, some moles grow in areas that tend to catch onto accessories or clothing. There are also people who opt to remove moles due to health reasons (possibility of skin cancer). .Several effective methods of mole removal treatments are available, including scarless mole removal, be it for cosmetic or health reasons.

Is mole removal painful?

As mole removal procedures are carried out with  topical numbing or under local  anesthesia, you should  not feel much discomfort .

How long will the procedure take?

It will take around 10-15 minutes for numbing  to take effect, and treatment duration can vary between a few minutes to under an hour, depending on which removal method is being carried out and number of moles being removed 

VARIOUS EVIDENCE BASED OPTIONS

Laser Mole removal: After moles are assessed not to contain suspicious or abnormal features, laser mole removal can be performed to remove moles with good results. This treatment option is best used for those who wish to remove smaller moles.

Surgical Mole Excision: This form of mole removal is used when the mole needs to be sent for biopsy and further testing. It is also recommended for large, raised or deep moles as chance of recurrence is rare using this method. With numbing given, a punch device is used to remove the entire mole, with several stitches applied to close the skin. A small scar may remain which will fade with time.

THE VERITAS APPROACH

Veritas offers both non-ablative and ablative laser mole removal, depending on the type of mole being removed. Using a combination of non-ablative lasers, scarless mole removal can be achieved, and moles can be removed in a single session, although follow up sessions may be required.

There is generally a higher tendency for scarring when opting for the surgical or ablative options of mole removal, with considerations given to the size of the mole, an individual’s skin type, and where the mole is situated. By employing microsurgical techniques during our surgical punch excision, there is precise wound closure. This reduces the risk of scarring, as well as speed up healing and recovery time post treatment.

Contact Us

Please drop us a call or send in a contact form and we’ll be happy to assist you.


13 Stamford Rd, #B2-35 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178905
ask@veritas.com.sg
+65 6283 3885

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