The skin is an organ of the body that contributes to many functions including the control of fluid and electrolyte levels and temperature control. It also helps to protect us from environmental factors and, as it contains nerve receptors, allows us to feel touch, pain and pressure.
Skin changes occur naturally as the body ages but some of these changes can also be the first indication of internal disease. Other changes can occur due to sunlight exposure and may cause cancerous or non cancerous growths.
Moles are often brownish in colour although some may be skin coloured. There are several different types of moles and they can be flat or raised, rough or smooth, oval or circular but always have a smooth edge. Some may also have hair growing from them. The number and appearance of moles on our bodies can change throughout our lives. However, moles with variable colouring or uneven edges, moles that cause itching or bleed and moles that grow bigger, become red, inflamed or crusty should always be examined by your GP who will be able to asses these moles and decide if they need to be surgically removed. This can sometimes be carried out in the surgery.
If the area of concern is large, the GP may refer you on to a dermatologist for treatment or to a general surgeon, if removal is indicated.
Answered by the Health at Hand nurses
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