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Did you know, a single square inch of skin contains around 19 million cells? It’s amazing stuff! And it is constantly renewing itself, forming new cells all the time. However, as we age, this process of cell renewal slows down – the dead cells on the surface of our skin remain for longer, leaving the skin with a dull look and a rough, scaly feel.
In addition, it is fairly common for various kinds of lumps, bumps, and growths to appear. Some are completely harmless, some are not so harmless. And that is why it is so important to regularly check yourself over and see a doctor right away if you spot any changes.
Common skin issues that arise as we age
There are many different types of benign skin growths associated with ageing skin. The most common include seborrheic keratoses which are rough, brownish-black spots; cherry angiomas which are smooth, red-coloured bumps; and sebaceous hyperplasia which are yellow bumps consisting of oil glands.
Cysts, moles, and skin tags can often form over time, and although many are completely benign, some prefer to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. It’s a procedure which is quick, safe, and carried out right here in the YourGP practice.
Caring for ageing skin
The best way to protect your skin is to cover up in the sun and apply a high SPF sun cream. Applying a moisturiser regularly will help to prevent ageing skin becoming too dry, as will maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water.
When to seek help
Those who have had extensive sun exposure are at greater risk of developing pre-cancerous skin growths, known as solar keratoses, and skin cancers.
A cancerous mole can grow rapidly if left untreated so ensure you check your body regularly and familiarise yourself with the potential warning signs:
If you’re worried about any changes to your skin, it is always best to seek expert medical help. The skin experts at YourGP, such as Dermatology Nurse Specialist Polly Buchanan, offer mole checks, teach self-skin examination, and can provide some cryotherapy and topical medical managements. Click here to find out more about the services that Polly offers.
Where further attention is required, they will advise on the next steps, such as testing and removal. Minor skin problems, such as benign cysts, moles, and skin tags, can be treated and removed in the practice by a GP.
An initial consultation will enable the doctor to make a full assessment, discuss treatment and cost with you. The procedure itself can be carried out quickly, at a convenient time for you in our Edinburgh clinic, and sutures will be removed approximately one week later if necessary.
When Lyn booked me with Dr McFarlane and said ‘what he doesn’t know about sexual health isn’t worth knowing’ she was right. Thorough assessment, quick test and immediate treatment all in a relaxed, professional manner – Excellent!