Most moles are harmless skin growths that may be flat or protruding. They vary in colour from pink flesh tones to dark brown or black. Everyone has moles, some of us have more than others have only a few. The number depends on our genes and sun exposure. Moles sometimes appear in "crops", especially during the early teens. Sunlight causes moles to enlarge and new moles to grow. This is an additional reason to avoid the sun and never deliberately tan.

Moles begin to grow in infancy. New moles can develop at any age. When a mole develops, it usually stays for many years without becoming a problem. Some moles disappear by themselves, the elderly have fewer moles than do middle-aged adults. A growing or changing mole in a youngster is almost always harmless. On the other hand, if an adult's mole markedly changes in colour or size or bleed, it should be checked by a physician.

Sometimes, the skin around a mole loses its colour so the mole appears to be surrounded by a white ring. This is called a "halo nevus" and is harmless. We leave it alone. In time the white ring often disappears.

Malignant melanoma, a rare cancerous growth that may resemble a mole, is dangerous and should be removed surgically. It seldom appears before the age of 16 years. Persons with a family history of melanoma have an increased risk of developing one. Warning! Any CHANGE in size, shape or colour of a mole merits urgent attention from your Doctor.

Laser Treatment for Removing Moles

Most moles are harmless and safe to ignore. Moles can now be treated at the Laser Centre under the following conditions:

  • A mole that has bled, has an unusual shape, is growing rapidly, or has changed colour noticeably (brown to black or any other colour) is given warning signs of possible malignancy.
  • A mole that is irritated by your clothing, comb, or razor is only a nuisance, but your doctor can remove it to prevent ongoing irritation.
  • A mole that is unsightly can be removed for cosmetic reasons.

Treating moles is a simple procedure. After numbing the skin, the doctor removes the mole with the silk touch laser

Moles sometimes grow annoyingly coarse hair. Permanent removal of the hair requires laser depilation.

Protuberant moles that annoy you can easily be converted into flat moles by simple office surgery. Bleeding rapid growth, unusual appearance and sudden change in a mole are urgent reasons to consult your physician.

Copyright © 1994 by W.B. Saunders Co. All Rights Reserved



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