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Mole awareness with Dr Sean Lanigan

9th March 2012  : 

With summer weather finally on its way, more and more people are starting to look forward to shedding their winter clothes, spending more time outside and getting to work on their tans.

Although your body needs sunshine in order to manufacture vitamin D, too much exposure can be bad for your health. Having your skin professionally screened for moles, sun damage and other skin conditions is the best way to ensure that any potential issues are spotted and dealt with long before they become problematic.

It's not just devoted sun-worshippers who are at risk as sun damage can occur all year round. If you spend a lot of time gardening or playing outdoor sports you could still benefit from a check-up, especially if you already have a lot of moles or similar blemishes. Dr Sean Lanigan, Group Medical Director of sk:n clinics, recently screened the entire Warwickshire Country Cricket team to help highlight the benefits of regular skin checks.

The vast majority of moles on skin are harmless but sometimes they can develop into malignant melanoma, an extremely serious form of skin cancer. You should pay particular attention to moles that grow or suddenly change shape or colour as this could be a potential warning sign. You should also seek immediate medical advice if one of your moles starts to bleed or suddenly becomes inflamed or itchy.

Although most moles are benign, they can still be unsightly. When it comes to mole removal, three main methods are available and the size and condition of your mole which help determine which is most appropriate. Small moles may be suitable candidates for state-of-the-art laser removal, a non-surgical procedure which most patients find almost painless.

Raised moles can be shaved down until they are level with the surrounding skin while larger moles can be surgically excised. Both these procedures take place under anaesthetic are a performed with great care to leave only minimal scarring that will eventually blend into surrounding skin.

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