Small, frequently innocuous moles on our skin might occasionally give rise to worries about their potential to develop into cancer.
Even though the majority of moles are benign, it’s crucial to comprehend the many types of moles and the factors that might cause them to develop into cancerous growths.
What are moles?
The skin can develop moles, which are common skin growths, anywhere on the body. They are generally round or oval in shape, dark in color, and may have a flat or raised surface. Melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment cells, produce moles when they grow in clusters rather than evenly around the skin as they should. While the majority of moles are benign, some might have a higher chance of turning into melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer.
Types of moles
Moles come in a variety of forms, each with its unique traits and potential for malignancy:
- Congenital moles: These moles are bigger in size and present at birth. Commonly known as “birthmarks”, these moles may range in colors – from light brown to black. While most congenital moles are benign, those that are bigger may be somewhat more likely to develop into melanoma.
- Acquired moles: Acquired moles are the most common type of moles and they usually develop after birth. They typically start developing throughout infancy or adolescence and can continue to develop into early adulthood. The likelihood of acquired moles developing into cancer is rather low.
- Atypical moles: Generally, atypical moles are larger than conventional moles and frequently have uneven borders and varying colors. They are also sometimes referred to as “dysplastic nevi”. Atypical moles can resemble melanoma and may carry a higher risk of developing into skin cancer.
- Halo moles: Often brought on by an immunological reaction, these moles have a white ring or “halo” surrounding them. Although they are often harmless, they might alter over time and need to be monitored.
- Blue moles: As their name implies, blue moles are blue-black in color because of their deeper skin-level location. Although they are usually harmless, they should still be watched for changes.
Assessing the risk of cancer development
Not every mole carries a serious danger of developing into cancer. Certain factors can increase the likelihood of a mole becoming cancerous:
- Atypical appearance: Moles that exhibit irregular borders, uneven colors, and a larger size may be atypical and should be closely examined by a professional.
- Change over time: Moles that alter in size, shape, color, or elevation should be closely observed since these modifications may be a sign of a potential issue.
- Family history: An individual’s risk of skin cancer may be increased if he or she has a family history of melanoma.
- Sun exposure: Prolonged sun exposure increases the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. People who have had sunburns in the past, particularly as children, are more susceptible.
If you’re worried about cancer, you may consider The Clifford Clinic’s Cancer Screening Programme.
Professional mole removal in Singapore with The Clifford Clinic
Regular self-examination and expert evaluation are essential for spotting moles that might be malignant. Dermatologists are skilled in identifying skin cancer symptoms and may thoroughly examine your moles to determine whether further action is necessary. By seeking professional assessment and removal, individuals can address potential skin cancer risks and achieve peace of mind.
The Clifford Clinic offers cutting-edge and effective raised and flat mole removal procedures. As a reputable aesthetic clinic, our doctors have years of experience with professional mole removals. With the help of Singapore General Hospital’s pathology labs, we can even help you find, assess, and diagnose skin cancer in its early stages so that you can start treatment right away.
At The Clifford Clinic, we provide two main surgical techniques for removing moles:
- Shave excision: This technique entails carefully shaving the surface of the mole using a knife. Because it doesn’t require sutures, it is a great choice for raised moles. The scab takes one to two weeks to completely heal.
- Surgical excision: The doctor will remove the whole mole and any deeper moles that are situated below the subcutaneous fat layer after administering local anesthetic. Surgical excision is a little more invasive than a shave excision, and sutures are required to close the wound. The sutures are then removed after 10 to 14 days.
The ideal treatment option for you depends on the size, depth, and features of your mole. The best way to identify aggressive and advanced skin cancer instances is surgical removal, which is also the most effective treatment for malignant moles that have entered the epidermis.
For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today!