Written by Dr Julian De Silva
Dr De Silva always advises it is better to be safe when it comes to lesions on your face. Removing a lesion usually warrants sending for microscopic analysis to determine the cause of the lesion—and although lesions are often thought to be moles, 2-3% turn out to be something else.
The Moh’s technique is a specialised way of removing all the microscopic cells in skin cancer while ensuring the least amount of non-cancerous tissue is excised. It is performed by detailed mapping and onsite microscopic examination of the removed skin.
The defect is immediately reconstructed to allow for the most aesthetic outcome. The Moh’s technique allows for a 95% cure rate and is the procedure of choice for many skin cancers.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are many types of skin cancer, but the most common are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
Basal cell is the most common type of skin cancer and often found on the face. It usually presents as a raised red or brown lesion with pearly borders that are raised, ulcerated and bleed easily.
They are the most common type representing 80% of all skin cancers.
Squamous cell carcinoma is often found on the hands, arms and eyelids. It presents as a rough flaky red or pink patch of skin and comprises 16% of skin cancers.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. If not detected early this cancer may metastasise (spreads to other sites in the body) and could lead to death. It presents as a dark mole that has changed appearance in the following ways:
- asymmetry (if split in half, one half is different than the other)
- irregular—not smooth border
- colour changes within the mole
- a diameter greater than a pencil eraser I
Most cancers are treatable if caught early. Regular skin examinations, minimising sun exposure and always wearing sunscreen are the best prevention.
Lumps & Bumps Removal and Repair
There are a variety of different lumps and bumps that can occur on the skin. The most common of these are moles, cysts, small white lumps (milia), enlarged oil glands (sebaceous lesions), red bumps (haemangiomas: a collection of blood vessels) and fibrous papules.
Often, it is difficult to be absolutely sure what the cause of a lump is unless it is removed and assessed under a microscope.
Lumps and bumps on the face are often unsightly and can be cosmetically disturbing to the patient. Removal of these lumps requires meticulous assessment and planning, to ensure that the removal avoids any hallmarks of surgery and no scar.
Moles are spots or irregularities found within the skin, medically they are termed a naevus or naevi. They come in various forms and sizes and could be flat, raised, dark (pigmented) or light in colour (non-pigmented).
These lumps can appear anywhere on the body and may be cosmetically disturbing to the patient if they are on the face. They can be present at birth, and often enlarge over the teenage years.
Moles are bothersome to some people. They can lead to dangerous health risks if they start changing during adult life when they may be cancerous (malignant melanoma).
If one has many moles on the face or body or any of them are changing form or colour a dermatologist should perform regular checks on them.
Mole removal, whether by laser or other surgical approaches, is a cosmetic surgery procedure that provides a solution to getting rid of unwanted lesions on the face or elsewhere.