Generally people with a large number of moles and/or abnormal (dysplastic) lesions are best monitored with mole scanning. People with a family history of melanoma or dysplastic moles can benefit from mole scanning. The doctor will advise you about this.
Mole scanning cannot make a diagnosis, but can analyse the colour, shape and various other features, and do a probability analysis of the lesion being suspicious. It cannot tell you whether you have melanoma or skin cancer. An expert medical practitioner needs to interpret these changes. However mole scanning has been shown to be the most useful tool in monitoring changes in moles. Changes may be significant and can alert to the diagnosis of melanoma.
Mole scanning is the latest technology to monitor suspicious moles for changes. Mole scanning uses digital images to analyse moles for colour shape and other changes. These images are stored on a computer, so that a direct comparison can be made in 6 or 12 months.
There can be risks associated with any procedure, although laser mole removal is generally very safe: Possible complications include:
1.Incomplete mole removal
2.Depression in the skin
5.Loss of pigmentation
6.Failure to correctly diagnose a potentially malignant lesion
Usually a local anaesthetic cream or injections are used to numb the area. The laser works by being attracted to the dark colour within the mole. This leads to a colour change in the mole, which later produces a small scab. After about 10 days, the scab comes off by itself. This often leaves a pink mark which lasts for several weeks. In people with darker skin, the treated area may turn slightly brown. This can be treated with a fading cream.
Moles which are benign and regular may be treated with lasers. The main purpose is to make the moles lighter and flatter. In most cases, laser treatment will not completely remove the mole, but rather the mole will be less obvious.
Other brown marks and freckles can be treated with Pulsed Light Therapy or Q Switched Nd:YAG. Pulsed light treatmens are better for larger areas, while the Q switched YAG is better for smaller more discrete brown marks.
Some lasers eg Alexandrite are colour selective so will lighten the pigment within the mole. In most cases the mole will fade by over 60% and will become flatter. This will improve the appearance of the mole, but does not remove all the cells in the mole, and does not prevent melanoma. To achieve best results, more than one treatment may be needed.
Moles which are irregular in border and colour (usually more than one colour) can be unstable. People with these moles (dysplastic) are at higher risk of melanoma. Regular mole checks by an experienced doctor with a dermatoscope and mole scanning, will help to detect suspicious or changing lesions.
This is the most serious type of Skin cancer and can be fatal. It may look like 1.Brown/black/red lesion which has irregular colour arrangement and irregular border. 2.Brown, black or red lump in the skin, which has grown quickly. The prognosis depends on the stage of growth and how quickly it is picked up. Early lesions that are thin have an excellent prognosis, while deeper lesions can spread quickly and lead to death. The treatment of melanoma is surgery. The extent of the surgery depends on the depth of the lesion. Regular follow up after treatment is essential.
These are the commonest skin cancers and are usually slow growing. They often look like a red spot or pimple, which does not heal. They may also bleed. They can be treated by: 1.Surgery 2.Curettage and diathermy 3.Cryotherapy 4.Cream ( mainly superficial BCC) 5.Photodynamic Therapy