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Moles, Milia and Skin Tags

Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, and either alone or in groups.

Most moles appear in early childhood and can increase during the first 30 years of life. It is normal to have between 10 – 30 moles by adulthood.

With age, some moles may not change while some moles can change slowly, becoming raised and/or changing colour. Sometimes hairs develop on the moles.

Skin imperfections like moles, milia, syringomas, xanthelasma, and skin tags can be annoying. Milia or Oilseeds are small pearly white bumps frequently found around the eye area. They occur when dead skin becomes trapped in small pockets at the surface of the skin. Milia can also be confused with stubborn whiteheads. In children, milia disappear within two to four weeks. In adults they are persistent.

Skin tags are benign skin growths thought to be caused by skin friction. Syringomas are flesh coloured or yellowish bumps that grow in clusters around your upper cheeks or lower eyelids. Xanthelasma is yellowish bumps which are the deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids. It can be hereditary and associated with high levels of cholesterol.

While all the conditions mentioned are harmless, they can be considered disfiguring and the good news is that they can be removed.

Treatment is with a carbon dioxide laser.

The process involves application of numbing cream, then use of the carbon dioxide laser to remove the unwanted lesions with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. This results in a very superficial wound, which usually heals over 7 – 10 days with minimal or no scarring. As a precaution, an antibiotic gel is applied and a review session booked for a fortnight later. Residual scarring that may occur is then treated using chemical peels and corrective creams.