25 Jul So You Want a Mole Removed, What Is The Doc’s Method?
Skin lesions can be raised or flat, pale, skin coloured or dark. They can be located on your face, arm, neck, basically anywhere on the body, as the skin is one large organ, no different to the heart, lung or kidney. They can appear from childhood or start later in life. They may bother you as they are changing lesions, or affect your self esteem as they may look unsightly, or they may irritate you as they are located in an area that gets in the way, like your neck or back.
Moles are collections of pigment producing cells, known as melanocytes, that reside in upper part of skin. They can be brown, black, blue or skin coloured. They can be flat or raised. Moles are a common natural part of the skin development process that is influenced by ultraviolet rays (eg. sun exposure) and genetics. Whilst some moles are present at birth, the majority of moles develop during our childhood and early adulthood. We continue to develop moles in our 3rd and 4th decade of life.
Moles can change for a variety of reasons. As they are made up of dynamic cells called melanocytes, they can be influenced to grow or change by sunlight exposure by producing more melanin (the pigment that gives us our natural skin colour), making them appear darker. They also can respond to hormonal changes (eg. Puberty, Pregnancy, Medications). These factors generally affect most moles at the same time and are uniform and self-limiting. But if a solitary mole changes, it may be caused by cancerous changes. Which should influence you to seek an experienced skin doctor to assess it to determine the diagnosis (eg. Whether the lesion is benign or malignant).
So you want a skin lesion or mole removed. What is the process with The DOC Cosmetic & Skin Clinic?
The first and most important step is to assess your mole(s) or lesion(s) in person and obtain a detailed history of your past medical history and skin cancer history, as well as search for skin cancer risk factors.
Then examining the mole with a dermatoscope, which is a specialised non-invasive instrument to visualise changes in colour, and microstructures of the upper skin (eg. Epidermis, the dermoepidermal junction, and the papillary dermis) that are not visible to the naked eye. This gives Dr Omarjee clues to whether the lesion of interest is benign or suspicious (or a skin cancer).
The treatment plan is then dictated on this assessment. If the assessment is clear cut and deemed the lesion is benign looking with no clues for skin cancer, cosmetic methods of removal are discussed and favoured, as in Dr Omarjee’s experienced hands, they usually result in excellent cosmetic improvements (minimal to no scarring). These methods include Radiofrequency Mole/Lesion Shaving (as known as “Cosmetic Mole Removal”) and Laser Mole removal. Both are performed with minimal to no discomfort.
Dr Omarjee has been utilising and perfecting his technique over the last 15 years with Radiofrequency Mole removal and has removed over 20,000 moles and skin lesions with this method.
Please click the links below to read more about your treatment options:
What if the assessment of the skin lesion or mole looks suspicious?
Then there are a few options depending on the changes seen, which include monitoring the lesion over 12 months (with photos to compare changes), and biopsy (eg. Shave biopsy, Punch biopsy and traditional elliptical excisional biopsy). The biopsy method is utilised to send a sample or the whole lesion (and surrounding and beneath skin of the lesion of interest) to be critically analysed by a histopathologist (type of doctor) under a microscope to make a microscopic diagnosis of the suspicious lesion. Sometimes further treatment is required after this biopsy dependent on the result obtained from histopathology.
You should never have any skin lesion or mole removed by a non doctor as they are not trained to fully analyse the lesion to exclude skin cancer, which for obvious reasons could end in disaster (see image below, Melanoma).