Moles And Skin Cancers
Most people have a number of moles- the average is seven. Skin cancer can arise from these moles or start in normal skin. The number of people who develop skin cancer each year is increasing- possibly because of increased sun exposure as we holiday abroad. The most characteristic feature of skin cancers is recent change- either in size, shape, sensation or colour.
If you have any skin lesions which concern you it is best to have them checked out. At the Gatehouse Clinic we are offering a free mole consultation with our Consultant Plastic Surgeon. Most will turn out to be normal with only a minority of skin lesions requiring removal.
Below Richards goes through the nature and treatment of some of the more common skin lesions:
These are what we normally think of as moles. They tend to occur either at birth or before the age of 30. These lesions are flat or slightly raised, brown and may develop hairs.
These lesions are very unlikely to develop into skin cancers and most are left alone. Some people prefer to have them removed particularly if they are large or on the face.
Removal is straightforward and can be performed at the Gatehouse Clinic under local anaesthetic.
These moles tend to develop later in life- typically after the 30th birthday. They look like small skin coloured rounded nodules. They usually occur on the face and slowly increase in size and develop hairs. Longstanding lesions develop into the lesions we associate with witches chins.
Intradermal moles are very unlikely to develop into skin cancers. They are easily removed at the Gatehouse clinic. It is advisable to have them removed before they become too large as this minimises any scarring.
Basal cell carcinomas
These lesions are also known as BCC?s or rodent ulcers. They tend to occur in sun exposed areas most commonly the face and neck. They usually look like small pearls in the skin.
Although they are technically skin cancers they do not spread around the body and do not come back once they have been removed.
These skin cancers arise from the brown pigment cells in the skin. They can arise from existing moles or develop on their own. They can occur at any site around the body and are usually dark. As they are growing they are characterised by change. This is why it is important to have any moles checked out if you feel they are becoming larger, darker or itchier.
Melanomas are associated with sun exposure early in life and can be life threatening if not treated early. Early lesions are removed and unlikely to cause any further problems.
Most people have moles and the vast majority of these are harmless but can be removed if you wish. If you are concerned about any skin lesion it is important to have it checked by a specialist.
Until the end of the year the Gatehouse Clinic is offering free mole assessments by a specialist. To book your appointment please ring 01604 616500 to arrange your complimentary consultation.