Skin problems can take many shapes and forms. Acne, acne scars, marks and lesions are common issues we often fail to bring to our dermatologist, compounding the fact that these issues can be very damaging to our skin. However, we can get worried if they get unsightly. Moles are extremely obvious, especially those on our face, and we often seek professional help to deal with them.
However, moles are typically benign. To fill this knowledge gap, this article will focus on moles: what causes them to develop and the options available to removing them.
Moles don’t really need an introduction: we all know them as dark spots that just seem to be irremovable parts of our skin. The majority of moles are with us since our childhoods, but some may develop later in life. These later developments usually may be a cause for concern, especially those that grow in size and end up as raised black bumps.
What Causes Moles?
Most moles appear in the first 25 years of our lives. Moles develop when some cells in our skin, called melanocytes, grow in small clusters instead of being distributed across our skin. Melanocytes produce the pigment that colours our skin and gives it its natural colour. As such, an over-concentration of these cells causes dark spots to form on our skin and develop into moles over time.
Frequent exposure to strong sunlight can instigate more pigmentation and cause moles to get darker and more obvious. Moles can also darken during teenage puberty and pregnancy.
Unfortunately, some moles can be cancerous. These cancerous moles are known as melanomas and can look highly irregular, be asymmetrical and have several colours. They can be identified through a physical exam using a technique called dermatoscopy.
How Can You Remove or Treat Moles?
While moles are typically harmless, people with many moles on their body and face may find their self-confidence affected, and want to remove them. There are 2 predominant cosmetic treatment methods in Singapore for small mole removal.
Mole Removal Surgery
Mole removal surgery will require you to go under the knife to get rid of your mole, and there are commonly two types. A shave excision will begin with local anaesthesia. Your mole will be shaved down with a razor on the surface layer of the skin and will not require stitches. This method leaves a less visible scar for a better cosmetic result. For surgical excisions, the entire mole is cut out and stitches are required to close the skin. A surgical excision almost guarantees that the mole is permanently removed and unlikely to return in the future, thus suitable for moles with deep roots. However, this leaves a small scar that takes a longer time to fade.
Laser Mole Removal
Laser mole removal works best for small, flat moles that are non-cancerous. It uses short, intense bursts of light radiation to break down the pigment mole cells, lightening the mole or eventually removing it altogether. Scarring is extremely minimal, but it may require a few sessions before the mole is totally removed. It also works best for removing multiple moles at the same time.
This article has explained the basic causes of mole development and how you can remove them effectively. Comparing the 3 methods of mole removal, laser mole removal treatment might be the best option cosmetically, as the risk of scarring is extremely low.