Skin tags and moles are non cancerous growths on the skin. They’re connected to the skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle. These growths are common kin tags are common in both men and women, especially over the age of 50. They can appear anywhere on your body. Removal in most cases is easily done by our Cosmetic Doctor.
Pigment cells (melanocytes) that grow together to form clusters result in a mole. Most adults can have between 10-40 moles on average which typically are found on areas of the body that receive lot’s of sunlight exposure. Moles are not usually found on the buttocks, breasts, or the scalp. While some babies have moles from birth, most moles develop throughout life.
What are moles
Moles are skin imperfections in mature skin cells that produce dark, black or brown pigment called melanin. Some people call moles “beauty spots”. In the medical world a mole is called melanocytic nevus.
Moles occur when melanocytes hyper-proliferate to form growth clusters. They can be black, dark brown, blue, tan, red, purple, pink, or meshing of any of those colours. Moles can be flush with the surface of the skin or raised up from it. Most moles are no larger than the size of a pencil eraser, about ½-inch in diameter. Some people have family histories of moles.
Moles can occur on most body parts including the arms, legs, genitals, ears, face, eyelids, and even on the palms of the hands. Some moles become more prominent when exposed to sunlight. Moles can be smooth or wrinkled, and most moles are oval or circular in shape.
Most moles are safe and cause no health problems. An eye should be kept on moles that change shape, size and colour as it could potentially become cancerous and even become a melanoma. We recommend you attend regular Skin checks either at our clinic or our sister clinic Surfers Health Medical Centre.
Types of Moles
Moles are classified as regular, irregular, or cancerous.
Regular moles are small, round, symmetrical, may be raised or flat, and of uniform colour. They are typically harmless and benign.
Unusual moles tend to have asymmetrical borders, present with multiple colours, are often flat, and are typically larger than a pencil eraser. Having 20 or more irregular moles increases the chances of developing skin cancer, especially in those with a family history of melanoma.
Some moles which are present at birth grow to more than 20 cm in diameter may present greater risk in the future to become a melanoma.
Cancerous moles are highly irregular skin imperfections. They are commonly asymmetrical and are likely to change in appearance. These malignant moles are most common on the shoulders, back, neck, and ears where people receive the most exposure to sunshine.
Difference between Moles & Warts
Like a mole, a wart can be smooth to the touch on the surface. However, warts are scaly, thick, and hard, like a callus growing underneath the skin. Commonly, warts contain a pattern of small black dots which are tiny blood vessels that have become clotted.
Warts occur because the person comes in contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a blanket term for more than 150 similar viruses. This is a contagious virus and common warts are transmitted via casual skin contact or sexual contact. You can get a wart from a handshake, sharing a bath towel, or borrowing somebody’s shoes.
Picking at a wart, biting your fingernails near a wart, or scraping the skin near a wart can transmit the virus and cause new warts to develop.
A wart can take 2-6 months to develop after coming in contact with the HPV. Warts can be painful but are normally harmless otherwise. In order to get rid of a wart, all the skin cells that have the virus have to be eliminated. At-home wart removal products can work but many users fail to use them consistently or for an adequate time period.
The best way to have a wart removed is to have our Cosmetic Doctor freeze the wart off using liquid nitrogen. Warts can spread, so it’s advisable to get them removed sooner rather than later.
Difference between Moles & Skin Tags
Skin tags are little flaps of skin that form because of friction caused by rubbing against a collar, clothes, or other areas of skin, like under the arm. Unlike a mole, a skin tag is just a ball of skin tissue that is attached by a thin pedestal of flesh.
Skin tags are normally harmless. However, they can be irritating and may get snagged on various objects, which may then cause them to bleed or be painful. Your dermatologist can quickly and simply remove these small flaps of skin.
You should book an appointment with our Cosmetic Doctor if you notice or experience the following:
Is itching, painful or bleeding
Changes from being flat to raised
Procedures for Mole Removal
Our Cosmetic Doctor easily removes moles by using a plasma device to burn the mole off. The skin will form a scab that will last several days, whilst the skin is healing. It is most important not to pick the scabs off, as this may increase the risk of scarring.
Our treatments for mole & skin tag removal include:
Call us on 5539 9534 to book an appointment with our Cosmetic Doctor