When should I consider mole removal?

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When Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce recently quashed wild media speculation to reveal that the injuries on his face were caused by mole removal surgery (and NOT a fracas during training!), our cosmetic treatment experts were inundated with queries from many of you – all seeking advice on when and why we might need to consider this procedure.

While Steve Bruce may have sported some scars and cuts following surgery, it's not necessarily the case that you will – for some methods, we can recover quickly and without being in front of a camera lens, too!

Interestingly, moles are hereditary and the good news is that only a small number turn malignant following excessive sun exposure or sunburn.

Dr JJ Masani is an aesthetic practitioner who has been listed in Tatler’s Top 50 Doctors and is the clinical director of the Mayfair Practice. He specialises in mole removal.

Before we consider mole removal, he suggests that moles must first be checked – each every mole everywhere on the body – by a doctor of dermatologist competent in the use of dermoscopy.

This involves a special instrument that has polarised light than can distinguish between non-malignant and malignant moles with far greater accuracy than simple magnification.

Dr Masani says: ‘If a mole is malignant, then it should be excised as soon as possible – certainly within three to four weeks.’

And for us nervous patients out there – the million-dollar question is: ‘Does it hurt?’

Dr Masani is reassuringly confident. He explains: ‘If done carefully, and under local anaesthetic, there is no pain except for the initial needle prick, which can be further reduced with local anaesthetic cream applied 10 minutes before the procedure is carried out.’

And, what about the marks and cuts that Steve Bruce was sporting? Does mole removal leave a scar?

Dr Masani says: ‘There is little to no scarring if it is not malignant. We can use radiowave surgery without the need to go deeper than the second layer of skin (dermis).’

Radiowave surgery for excision is far superior to laser of use of scalpel as there is very little lateral damage, which means little to no scarring.

And, should you simply happen to be self conscious about a mole, you can still have it removed but it will need dermoscopic examination.

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