Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. But what if the beholder is you, or someone you want to impress? Love may be blind, but you can only trust that to take your assets so far.
Live with them?
Don’t, because you may not live. Apart from aesthetic enhancement, growing awareness of skin cancer risks have motivated more people to remove their moles for complete peace of mind.
Common black birthmarks such as the giant hairy nevus are dangerous, because of their increased risk (10 to 15%) of conversion into malignant melanoma.
However, not all will be transformed into malignant melanoma. They can be other skin tumours. The risk reported in the lighter pigmented people is higher, maybe 10-15%, while in our oriental population it is often below 5% or less,
So for the case of mole-removal and especially for fairer skinned people, cosmetic surgery can be anything but cosmetic.
Red Dot Musuem
However, not all birthmarks are born equal. There are actually many types, some are black, or brownish, while others are red,
Portwine stains are reddish birthmarks caused by congenital abnormalities of small blood vessels called capillaries. They form into clusters, thereby causing the skin to appear reddish to purplish in colour.
Haemangioma are made up of an aggregation of dilated small blood vessels and are classified by the predominant type of blood vessels they are composed of – namely arterial, venous or cavernous.
Moles are sometimes considered sexy depending on where they are located, but doctors define them as any small, dark spots which appear on your skin. Moles fall into a larger class of lesions (abnormal skin tissue) known as nevi, to which the giant hairy nevus also belongs.
Freckles on the other hand, are flat, light brown or red spots on the skin and are formed by exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Hence, this is not considered a birthmark.
Getting rid of these require different treatments. Moles, if diagnosed medically, have deep roots and therefore the best treatment for them will be complete removal by surgical means. One can use a laser but the danger of a post-operative scar is higher because one has to burn it wide and deep to get rid of it completely.
Lasers are best used for those close to the surface of the skin, such as portwine stains and freckles, while the rest might require surgery. A dye laser is mainly used for vascular skin lesions like port-wine stains or haemangiomas. For dark skin lesions, pigment lasers are used to get rid of the dark pigments.
Afterburn (& after-effects)
Although such aesthetic enhancement procedures are fairly simple, there are still possible risks and complications. For laser surgery, superficial burns on the surface of the skin resulting in swelling and crusting can take several days to heal. Incomplete removal will result in recurrence and sometimes may provoke a cancerous change.
Hypopigmentation (lighter coloured skin) or hyperpigmentation (darker coloured skin) can also occur, but skin tone will usually return to normal over 2 to 6 months.
After treatment, sunscreen should be used and excessive sun exposure for the first 3 months should be avoided. .
What about tattoo removal?
Whatever your original reasons for having that tat, there’s no reason for you to have to live with your moment of folly – this is one decision you can unmake.
The best method to remove tattoos is to gradually remove it by laser. Multiple treatments are usually performed, with 4 to 8 weeks separating each session.
And of all the colours the most difficult to remove are the green ones.
So no matter how wildly talented your tattoo artist is, take those greenish colours and multi-hued designs out of his palette, because they’ll be harder to remove. If you ever want to, that is.