Moles or melanocytic neavi are dark marks on the skin caused by melanocytes which are the cells in the skin that produce pigment (colour). Moles vary in colour from the light ‘flesh’ coloured mole through to brown, dark brown and black. Moles can be flat or raised, smooth or rough. Some have hairs growing from them. Moles are usually round with a regular edge.
Congenital melanocytic neavi are moles which are present at birth. Most moles develop during the first 20 years of life but some develop into our 40’s and tend to develop in areas regularly exposed to the sun. Darker skins are less likely to develop moles.
Moles develop according to our genetics and can be inherited from one or both parents. In addition, regular un-protected exposure to sunlight will increase the prevalence of moles on the skin.
We have three methods of removal of unwanted moles available at our centre:
- Cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen);
- Excision (surgical removal with or without stitches), and;
- Laser Vaporisation (using advanced radio wave technology).
You will need to book a consultation with one of our doctors to assess your moles and discuss an appropriate treatment plan. All moles are carefully assessed before removal. At this point the likelihood of melanomas will be addressed.
At the initial consultation you will be advised of any, medications you may need to discontinue before the procedure. This is to minimize bleeding, bruising and swelling.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy often increase the size of moles and we usually recommend waiting until after pregnancy to remove unwanted moles.
Followed up consultations occur
- For lab results: Should the Pathologist find anything unusual or suspicious on your specimen you will be called back to discuss this result and a treatment plan with your Doctor.
- For stitch removal: Follow-up depends on the area that received stitches and the type of suture that was used. Facial sutures are typically removed on day 5. Stitches elsewhere are usually removed between 7 to 10 days.
To prevent infection during the recovery time, you need to keep the area clean and covered with daily applications of bactroban ointment. Avoid any trauma to this area.
You will be able to carry on with your normal daily activities, taking the post-procedural instructions into consideration. Avoid direct exposure of the treated area to the sun until it is completely healed. It is advised to use a high SPF sunblock in the treated area. You will be advised to avoid any activity which may cause tension in the treated area for a period of 7-10 days.