We all love a bargain and the explosion of online discount sites has made it part of our culture to seek out deals and offers for the things we want, from meals out to holidays, car servicing to photo shoots.
The health and beauty sector is a major component of deal sites such as Groupon and KGB deals, but there are certain treatments where shopping around for the cheapest deal might not be the best idea.
One such area in my opinion is mole removal, which strays into the area of medical procedures.
The risks of having a ‘suspicious’ mole are now well understood. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer and if diagnosed, should be treated promptly and thoroughly to ensure the best chances of success. In my NHS career, I have carried out skin reconstruction on over a thousand patients over the years as part of their treatment for skin cancer.
If there are any concerns about a mole, then the most appropriate action is to see your GP as soon as possible for diagnosis.
If any patient has a mole which they’d like removing for cosmetic reasons, this is unlikely to be offered by the NHS, but should still be carried out to very high standards.
So if you are considering discount mole removal, then here are 3 questions to help you make the right decision and choose a suitable provider:
1. What procedure is being used?
Some discounted mole removal deals at beauty clinics are based on techniques which we, at my clinic, would not consider suitable for mole removal. Examples include electrolysis, cryotherapy (a freezing treatment, more suitable for verrucae and warts) or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light treatment, used more for hair removal). These procedures might not be as appropriate or effective for mole removal. They may not give a complete result and can be dangerous in the wrong hands with a risk of burns. We use laser or surgical procedures for dealing with unwanted moles with complete removal of the skin lesion.
2. Who is carrying out the treatment?
Treatments such as electrolysis, IPL and cryotherapy may be offered by beauticians in certain salons. However, they are not medically trained and therefore cannot give any clinical diagnosis for moles, which is especially relevant where there are concerns. At my clinic, all mole removal treatments are carried out by properly qualified doctors and surgeons who have had additional training in mole removal procedures as well as proper assessment and diagnosis.
3. Is the mole sent away for testing?
Even when a mole looks innocent it is our opinion that it should always be tested as a precaution, as melanoma is an extremely dangerous and potentially fatal skin disease. However, many beauty salons do not arrange for moles to be tested as a matter of course as they are not medical establishments and do not have access to histology (testing) services. Where the mole is being ‘burned off’ using electrolysis, cryotherapy or IPL, there is often not even be a removed skin sample available. At my clinic, all moles are sent away for proper testing, the results of which are reviewed by a doctor or surgeon and then sent onto the patient for peace of mind.
Our mantra is ‘if in doubt, check it out’; so if there are any concerns about the shape, colour, size or behaviour of the mole, even a hunch that it’s not right, don’t look for budget mole removal deals but instead see your own GP or a suitably qualified medical professional without delay.