ID-100374249Many people have a number of moles also called beauty marks on their skin, especially people who are light skinned. Moles are caused when melanocytes, the pigment containing skin cells, grow clustered at a given point.

Most moles are generally harmless although some are associated with melanoma, a type skin cancer. It is reported that the presence of 50 or more moles is an indication of the high risk of melanoma. Atypical moles characterized by an odd shape, are large and contain more than one color indicate a greater risk of melanoma.

Moles are common in almost all people. Moles come about when melanocytes grow in a cluster. Moles are often harmless but some may indicate a high risk of melanoma. The American Academy of Dermatology has a tool to help in self-examination by mapping your moles. Minimizing exposure to direct sunshine can help protect the skin. Moles do not require treatment but are removed if cancer is suspected or for cosmetic reasons.

Moles should be closely monitored for any changes so that the risk of melanoma is greatly reduced. The early detection of a melanoma means that it can be effectively treated by a dermatologist.

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Image courtesy of by Stuart Miles

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Mike Dilkes ENT is based in Central, North, East and South London. Most of our consultations and treatments are carried out either at The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth or The London Independent Hospital. The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth is one of London's biggest and most prestigious private hospitals.

It is in St Johns's Wood, a leafy area of the west end, just north of Harley Street and Regent's Park. The London Independent Hospital is in Stepney Green, hidden away just behind Mile End Road, just to the East of the City of London. Formally The London Jewish Hospital, it is a purpose built modern building with full facilities, beautifully appointed rooms, state of the art laser systems and, in case anything goes wrong (it really shouldn't), a fully covered Consultant 24 hour ward and Intensive Care presence - the only private hospital in London to have this.