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While they may all look fairly similar, medically speaking there are in fact many different types of mole – and many reasons why they can appear. If you look closely enough the differences are tangible, and understanding them could mean the difference between spotting an ‘unstable’ mole before it becomes malignant, and not recognising the warning signs in time.
Moles can lie close to the skin or appear more protruding, but it is the size and shape that you should keep an eye on. If a mole has an irregular outline or irregular pigmentation, or measures over one centimetre across, then it is considered a ‘clinically atypical mole’ and you should seek further medical advice from your GP. However, if the shape and colour of your mole are both regular, there shouldn’t be cause for concern.
If you are unsure whether or not a mole is safe, you should always consult your GP.
Contrary to what you might think, removing moles is not an easy task; and the various removal techniques can cause after effects that are worth bearing in mind. For example, surgical removal will almost always leave a scar more than two times the length of the actual mole.
If scarring is a concern, it is possible to have the mole shaved from the surface of the skin – this technique can achieve far better cosmetic results than surgery, leaving little more than a small mark where the mole once was. However, if the mole was hairy then hair may continue to grow on the site, as shave excision does not remove the inner hair follicles.
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