What is a mole?
Moles are overgrowths of our skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes).
What causes moles?
The number of moles a person has is determined by genetic factors and amount of sun exposure.
What is the significance of having a large number of moles?
An individual with a large number of moles (i.e. more than 100) is at an increased risk of developing Melanoma (skin cancer).
How do I tell a mole from a melanoma?
Melanomas distinguish themselves from moles by changing. The changes happen over months as opposed to over days.
The ABCDE rule can help you remember what to look for when you’re checking any moles on your skin:
A for asymmetry: A mole that, when divided in half, doesn’t look the same on both sides
B for border: A mole with edges that are blurry or jagged
C for colour: A mole that changes colour rapidly, or has various shades of coulour
D for diameter: A mole larger than 1/4 inch in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser)
E for elevation: A mole that is raised above the skin and has a rough surface
How can I prevent myself from getting melanomas?
Sun protection is key to protecting yourself against melanomas.
- Avoid going out into the sun between 10am and 4pm
- Put on Sunscreen.
- Wear a wide brim hat, sunglasses and protective clothing.
- Do not go to tanning studios.
Can moles be removed?
Yes. Moles can be removed either by Radiofrequency Ablation or Surgical Excision.
Are there any special preparations necessary before a mole removal?
No. Mole removals take only 10 minutes and can be down at the same office visit.
What can I expect after the procedure?
A scab will form over the area from which the mole was removed. The scab will fall off after about 2 weeks. Meanwhile, you are advised to stay out of the sun. You should also was the wound gently daily with water and apply an antiseptic cream that we will provide.
If you needed stitches, you will be required to return to the clinic in about 2 weeks to remove the stitches.
Will there be a scar?
Depending on the procedure performed and the depth of the mole, there may be a faint scar. If the mole has very deep roots, we can minimize the scarring by removing the mole over 2 sessions about 6 weeks apart.
* Standard charges will apply for treatment of recurrent moles
Need more advice?
- Robertson Walk (Anonymous HIV Clinic) (+65 6238 7810)
- DUO Galleria (Bugis MRT) (+65 6976 5023)
- Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)
- Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)
- Raffles Place – PLUS (+65 6962 7144)
- Holland V (+65 6235 1339)
- Siglap (East Coast Road) (+65 6962 2144)
Where to find us – here
Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.
For lady patients who prefer female doctors, we have professional certified female Doctors to attend to your medical needs.
About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.