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Moles on the skin come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
The vast majority of moles are harmless. However, everybody should be vigilant for changing or unusual moles which can be signs of dangerous melanoma (a form of skin cancer), requiring urgent treatment. This issue is dealt with in a past article The Facts About Moles.
For most moles, the main concern is their appearance, which, depending on the mole's location and presentation, can be unwelcome for a wide variety of reasons.
Perhaps the worst kind of mole, aesthetically, is one that appears on the face and has hair sprouting. Often the hair can grow longer or thicker or even a different colour to the surrounding area, attracting further attention.
Many patients do not understand how to deal with the problem and are rightfully cautious about any treatment for the mole, which means that the hair continues to grow unchecked.
Here are a few common questions about hairy moles to explain the problem.
Why do Moles Grow Hairs?
Moles are made of skin cells and share many of the properties including the potential to grow hair. Hairy moles tend to appear in areas where hair is prone to grow i.e. the chin and upper lip (this applies to women as well as men). These areas have strong hair roots, so growth can be surprisingly fast and thick.
It is not of any medical concern, but we do understand that patients do not like the look of it.
Is it safe to remove hair from a mole?
There is no evidence to suggest that removing hairs from moles is harmful in any way. Most moles are not ‘cancerous’ and do not have the potential to become so.
However, it is sensible to treat this area with some caution to avoid sensitivity which could cause redness or swelling.
Plucking with tweezers is the most common method of mole hair removal. Many men shave over moles on a daily basis and this causes no harm. Depending on the area, waxing may be considered.
If the mole is raised, then it is sensible to avoid any activity that could damage the mole.
What about electrolysis?
Again, there is no evidence that using electrolysis can cause any harm to your mole. Removing hair from a mole is unlikely to disrupt the cells. It is actually far more dangerous to sit in the sun without sunscreen!
For ugly, hairy moles; mole removal is the fastest and most comprehensive solution. This will remove the mole and the hair all in one go.
Mole removal is a very simple and quick procedure with a trained doctor, requiring just a local anaesthetic. There will be a tiny scar after healing which will have normal skin characteristics i.e. will not regrow the thick/long mole hair.
Laser mole removal or surgical techniques are available in the private sector. Unfortunately, the NHS consider mole removal to be a cosmetic procedure unless there is a medical concern in which case it should be covered by the NHS as a priority. If not, then private clinics offer a good service.
Learn more about mole removal in this previous blog post: Understanding Mole Removal for Patients. Options and Techniques.
If you want to read more, the experts at Consulting Room really know what they're talking about and have put together Moles, hair removal, electrolysis, sunscreen and scarring FAQs just for you.
If you have more questions, you can use the Moles, hair removal, electrolysis, sunscreen and scarring questions feature to talk to our panel of trained medical experts.
If you're keen to get started with any of these treatments right away then you're in luck - those clever folks also have a list of trusted, accredited Moles, hair removal, electrolysis, sunscreen and scarring clinics in your area.
Many thanks to the author of this blog Dr Ross Perry who Established Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003 in the City of London.
As most of his patients already know, he is very much a perfectionist in all aspects of his work.
Ross’s private work consists of minor surgical procedures such as mole, wart, and skin tag removal using modern methods and techniques for minimal scarring.
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An in-depth consultation process is to find out about any current or previous medical conditions and medication that may impact aesthetic treatment.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Mole checking is an important part of skin cancer detection. We spoke to Dr Shaaria Nasir of sk:n Clinics to learn more.
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