Moles are skin blemishes of various size and colour.

Moles are skin blemishes on the body or face. They may be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and can be a variety of shapes and sizes. Moles are usually circular or oval with a smooth edge and they may have a hair growing from them.

Although most moles are harmless, it’s important to get your doctor to look at any mole or skin lesion that:

  • doesn't heal after four weeks
  • gets bigger or changes shape or colour
  • has an irregular edge
  • is patchy in colour or is multi-shaded
  • itches, bleeds or is crusty and scabbed for more than four weeks

Moles that cause concern may need to be checked by a specialist to establish whether they are malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). If a mole is diagnosed as malignant it would need to be removed and examined in a laboratory to ensure excision is complete.

If you want to have a mole removed at Benenden Hospital because of the way it looks or feels (i.e. for cosmetic reasons) this will need to be done as a private patient. Cosmetic surgery is not routinely provided on the NHS or to Benenden members.

Moles are coloured spots on your skin caused by melanocytes, the cells which make the pigment in your skin. Moles can change in number and appearance, often fading away over time.

While most moles are completely harmless they may be unsightly, which can affect your confidence, or they can be a nuisance. For example, if you regularly cut them while shaving or if they catch on your clothing.

If this is the case you may want to have a mole removed. As this type of cosmetic surgery is not routinely provided on the NHS, you may need to have it done privately.

If any skin lesion or mole is causing you concern for medical reasons, you’ll need to ask your doctor to examine it in order to rule out any risks that it may be cancerous. Sometimes the only way to diagnose certain skin conditions is with an excision of a lesion for diagnostic purposes (skin biopsy).

If you have a mole or skin lesion that is unsightly or is a nuisance, you can make direct contact with a private health facility such as Benenden Hospital to have treatment.

Diagnostic skin biopsies

A skin biopsy is when a small sample of skin is removed and sent to a pathology laboratory to be analysed.

Removal of moles cysts and skin tags

Removing a skin lesion is generally a quick straightforward procedure which is performed in the out-patient department.

What next?

If you are suffering with a suspected condition, you should seek the advice of your doctor who will be able to refer you to Benenden Hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

There are four ways to access treatment at Benenden Hospital which include self-funding, using private medical insurance or your Benenden membership, or through the NHS e-Referral scheme.