New Users Registration  |  Useful Links  |  FAQ  |  Site Map 
 
Go Search

 

Skip Navigation LinksHealth Xchange > News
  News  
  Categories  
     
  Chronology  
 
  2013 2015   Dec 2015 | Nov 2015 | Oct 2015 | Sep 2015 | Aug 2015 | Jul 2015 | Jun 2015 | May 2015 | Apr 2015 | Mar 2015 | Feb 2015 | Jan 2015 |
  2013 2014   Dec 2014 | Nov 2014 | Oct 2014 | Sep 2014 | Aug 2014 | Jul 2014 | Jun 2014 | May 2014 | Apr 2014 | Mar 2014 | Feb 2014 | Jan 2014 |
  2013   Dec 2013 | Nov 2013 | Oct 2013 | Sep 2013 | Aug 2013 | Jul 2013 | Jun 2013 | May 2013 | Apr 2013 | Mar 2013 | Feb 2013 | Jan 2013 |
  2012   Dec 2012 | Nov 2012 | Oct 2012 | Sep 2012 | Aug 2012 | Jul 2012Jun 2012May 2012Apr 2012Mar 2012 | Feb 2012 | Jan 2012 |
  2011   Dec 2011Nov 2011Oct 2011 | Sep 2011 | Aug 2011Jul 2011Jun 2011 | May 2011 | Apr 2011 | Mar 2011 | Feb 2011 | Jan 2011 |
  2010   Dec 2010 | Nov 2010 | Oct 2010 | Sep 2010 | Aug 2010 | Jul 2010 | Jun 2010 | May 2010 | Apr 2010 | Mar 2010 | Feb 2010 | Jan 2010 |
  2009   Dec 2009 | Nov 2009 | Oct 2009 | Sep 2009 | Aug 2009 |
 
     
  Topic  
 
  Health Policy and Announcements | Diseases and Outbreaks
  Medical Research | New Treatments and Technology
   
 
     
  RSS  
 
  Singapore   SingHealth | Health Promotion Board | Ministry of Health | Asiaone
  International   World Health Organization | Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US)
       
 
     
  News Article  
 

Ugly side of cheap mole removal

 
  Saturday, 18 l 12 l 2010 Source: The Straits Times   
By: Fiona Low
     
 

It may cost as little as $5, but MOH says some need to be examined in case they are cancerous 

mole-removalSOME beauty outlets are offering to remove moles for as little as $5. But the Ministry of Health (MOH) has this advice: Be careful. It says the public should undergo treatment only with registered doctors operating within licensed health-care institutions. “Some moles may need to be properly examined and diagnosed to ensure that they are benign,” a ministry spokesman told The Straits Times. He cautioned that, depending on the size, location and type of mole, removal could require the specialized clinical skills of a medical practitioner. But this has not stopped a rash of outlets in Housing Board estates from offering such services. Some – like those in the Bugis area – even operate at roadside stalls under a tent-like structure. 

These procedures – which cost upwards of $150 when done at the National Skin Centre (NSC) and about $800 when done by a plastic surgeon – range from $5 to about $40 a mole at beauty outlets. Administrative assistant Elaine Wee, 28, got six moles on her face removed in a single sitting earlier this year at a beauty salon in Albert Street. The cost: A mere $25. The salon, House De Beauty, even extended a seven-day guarantee on the removal. She was told the salon would remove them again for free if they grew back within that time. To sweeten the deal, she even got a “buy five get one free” discount on the procedure.  

beauty-salonBeauty salons typically either remove moles with a “burning” instrument or with liquid acid. The burning method, known as electrocautery, involves destroying tissue by converting an electrical current to heat. A metal probe, which is pressed onto the mole, destroys the tissue. The other method uses trichloroacetic acid, which is caustic and destroys skin tissue when applied. Beauty salons The Straits Times spoke to said the procedure takes about 10 minutes. The area treated will darken and form a scab that falls off within several days. The low price was an attraction for Ms Wee, who said she had expected mole removal to be much more costly. “I was not too worried about the risks because my friends went for it first and the results were good,” she said. “Previously, my moles could be seen in photographs. Now my face looks cleaner.”  

Moles develop when cells called melanocytes – which give skin its colour – grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. They can occur at any stage in life and are usually harmless. However, doctors warn that such treatments may not be permanent – they could leave behind some cells that could later lead to a recurrence. This could be especially dangerous if the moles are malignant. Dr Chua Sze Hon, a senior consultant dermatologist at the NSC, said: “If the mole is cancerous and is not fully removed, subsequent removal will be more difficult because the recurrent cancer may have spread wider and deeper. “In addition, if melanoma is disrupted without fully removing it, there will be an increased risk of the cancer spreading to the rest of the body via the bloodstream and lymphatics.” 

Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer arising from mole cells. Such cancer growths must be removed by more aggressive methods, such as surgery, to ensure that the disease does not spread. At the NSC, patients seeking mole removal are examined to check if the mole is cancerous. Only dermatologists are trained to do this, said Dr Chua. Superficial light brown moles can be removed with a laser machine and larger, protruding ones via surgery. Both procedures can be carried out only by qualified medical professionals.

     
 Ask the Specialists (1st - 30th Nov)
     
Gastric Pain, what can I do?
Your Gastric Pain could be a signal of a more serious condition that needs attention; or that you need a change in lifestyle. Ask our Specialist now!
     
  Your eye and contact lenses
Concerned with the side effects of wearing contact lens? Need a guide on how to take care of your eyes and lenses? Ask our Specialist now!
     
 
 Ask the Specialists - Answered Topics
             
  Aesthetic Eye   Asthma  
  Breast Cancer   Cancer and Nutrition  
  Child's Eye Conditions   Depression  
  Breast Cancer   Eczema  
  Elderly Eye Conditions   Health At Work  
  Heart Disease   LASIK  
  Low Back Pain   Maternal Depression  
  Money and Healthcare   Managing Pain  
  Pre-pregnancy   Prostate Problem  
  Risk of Heart Disease   Sleep  
  Sports Injuries   Thyroid Problems  
  Weight Management        
             
 
 Catch up with Health Xchange
 
  facebook   newsletter  
 
  twitter