What are they?
Clusters of a particular type of skin cell, usually melanocytes. There are many different sorts of mole: some are brown, others are colourless but scaly - that’s why they can look and act differently.
Who gets them?
New moles will develop well into your 20s and again if you’re pregnant. After they age of 30 we tend to stop developing new moles.
What causes them?
Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread evenly throughout the skin.
What are the symptoms?
The majority will have no symptoms and you shouldn’t notice them. Some harmless moles will change in a perfectly normal way and become itchy, inflamed or bigger. You should always see your GP or dermatologist if a mole gets bigger, changes shape, changes colour, becomes painful, bleeds or itches.
What’s the best treatment?
Expert identification can reassure you that the mole is totally normal. If there are any concerns, a biopsy will be taken under local anaesthetic. If moles are unsightly or uncomfortable, they can be surgically removed.
“During a routine mole check, Clare identified a lesion that wasn’t normal. She removed it immediately, and I had the biopsy results within a few days. Thankfully it was caught in good time, but if Dr Clare hadn’t spotted it when she did the outcome could have been very different. I’ve been having annual checks ever since, and I always call Dr Clare if I notice any skin changes.”
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