I’m allergic to mosquito bites. The bitten area swells up and becomes itchy. Scratching results in bleeding and later that part becomes dark in colour. Please guide me on how can these marks be removed?

The dark marks on your skin are medically known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The Asian skin in general and the subcontinental skin in particular, has been seen to be extremely prone to this post-inflammatory sequel. Over-the-counter (OTC) skin lightening creams containing hydroquinone can be used as an initial treatment to see the response. In persistent, non-responsive cases, professionally formulated, higher-concentration anti-pigmentation topical treatments usually do the job. However, in rare resistant cases, a suitable chemical peel alone or together with pigment-lightening-lasers can be an effective therapeutic option, depending on assessment ability, experience and skill of your treating dermatologist

I’m a 34-year-old female. During a visit to my dermatologist recently, he pointed out a few of my moles as being ‘suspicious’, and burnt them off using an electric device. Why did he not send it for a biopsy?

Based on the internationally stipulated, standard guidelines, your dermatologist ought to have sent the biopsy samples of the removed moles for histopathology examination to rule out any dysplastic (pathologically atypical) or malignant (cancerous) changes in the mole cells, particularly after finding them “suspicious”. Burning moles has been in practice since the past several decades. However, at present, detailed mole management guidelines are widely accessible even online. At this stage, you should visit a renowned dermatology centre that has an established reputation in mole assessment as well as managing cases of skin cancers including malignant melanoma. An experienced dermatologist should re-examine your entire body skin, with a special focus on detecting any suspicious spots including moles that could be of any clinical concern, and then can successfully treat them accordingly. Deeper skin biopsies need to be taken even from the areas of your “burnt moles” to ensure that there is no residual melanocytic lesion still present in the deeper layers of your skin. The histopathological examination of these biopsies is the only way to confirm the completeness of the removal of previous moles, which will be of utmost importance to put your mind at peace.