Breast Lift Q&A with Alessio Vinci

Mr Vinci answers your frequently asked breast lift queries.

Get to Know Alessio

Consultant oncoplastic surgeon, Mr Alessio Vinci smiling while discussing breast lift
Consultant oncoplastic surgeon, Mr Alessio Vinci

We first had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Vinci into our team last year. Known for his expertise in breast surgery, Mr Vinci is a consultant oncoplastic surgeon who has been working in his field for 14 years.

His specialties encompass both reconstructive and cosmetic breast surgery. This includes breast augmentation, reduction, and mastopexy (breast lift), as well as reconstructive surgeries following mastectomy for breast cancer patients.

Q: Do I need a breast lift?

A: A breast uplift effectively involves 2 procedures: repositioning the nipple in a more youthful, aesthetically pleasing position, and removing some of the excess skin. Usually this is done by removing some of the excess skin in the lower aspect of the breast, at the level of the inflammatory fold, which is the fold underneath the breast.

Q: Who is a good candidate for a breast uplift?

A: Someone who is happy with the overall volume of the breast inside the bra, but would like to have the droopiness of the breast corrected. This droopiness may have developed because of aging, because of dieting and weight loss but also because of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Q: Do I need an implant too?

A: In case there is also a lack of volume, often we need to use an implant to give an enhanced shape to the breast. This is indicated for somebody who is unhappy with the upper pole, the cleavage, about the slope of the breast. A breast lift by itself will not always be able to achieve an enhanced volume in the superior aspect of the breast. To achieve that the use of an implant may be necessary.

Q: What’s the difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction?

A: A different operation to a breast lift is a breast reduction. They are two operations that are often confused, but there are different objectives to the two operations and the best candidate is obviously different as well. A breast reduction is an operation which involves repositioning the nipple areola complex, removing some of the excess skin, but also removing some of the breast tissue.

Q: Will I be able to breast feed following a breast lift?

A: I am often asked “will I be able to breastfeed my children in the future?" It is variable. The majority of women will be able to express some milk. A minority of women won’t be able to breastfeed completely. I would say that in the majority of cases women will be required to supplement the baby with formula, but they will still be able to breastfeed to a certain extent.

Schedule a breast lift consultation

Interested in breast lift surgery? Book your consultation today with Mr Vinci. More information on breast lift surgery can be found on our website.

Check out our video version of this Q&A on Instagram.

Breast implants in bra

Cosmetic Breast Surgery - Who Are The Top Surgeons?

Cosmetic Breast Surgery - Who Are The Top Surgeons?

Are you considering a cosmetic breast procedure? Whether you’re contemplating a subtle enhancement or a significant transformation, choosing the right surgeon is crucial. Luckily, you’re in the right place! Today, we’re shining the spotlight on the top five cosmetic breast surgeons operating at the La Belle Forme Clinic in Glasgow Day Sugery Centre in the heart of this wonderful Scottish city.

Taimur Shoaib Plastic Surgeon LBF Healthcare GlasgowMr Taimur Shoaib: With years of experience under his belt, Dr. Shoaib is renowned for his meticulous attention to detail and his compassionate approach to patient care. His dedication to achieving natural-looking results has earned him a stellar reputation among his peers and patients alike.

Read Mr Shoaib’s profile

Book An Appointment With Mr Shoaib

Plastic Surgeon Richard Clark LBF Healthcare Glasgow Day Surgery CentreMr Richard Clark: Mr Clark qualified in 1998 and was appointed a consultant in 2014.  He has performed numerous Breast Enhancement surgeries in Glasgow and Stirling.

Read Mr Clark’s profile

Book An Appointment With Mr Clark

Cosmetic Surgeon Parkash LohanaMr Parkash Lohana: Parkash Lohana was awarded fellowships in Plastic Surgery from both the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow,  A patient’s joy after a breast reduction procedure made the national news.

Read Mr Lohana’s profile

Book An Appointment With Mr Lohana

Chris Cartlidge Breast Surgeon LBF HealthcareMr Chris Cartlidge: Mr Cartlidge is a consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon.  Chris also has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh since 2018 and as part of his training completed a prestigious National Oncoplastic Fellowship at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

Read Mr Cartlidges profile

Book An Appointment With Mr Cartlidge

Alessio Vinci Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon LBF HealthcareMr Alessio Vinci: Mr Vinci specialises in the whole spectrum of breast care, ranging from women requiring surgery for benign and malignant conditions to cosmetic breast surgery. He undertakes cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgeries including breast reduction, breast lifts (mastopexy), and breast augmentation.

Read Mr Vinci’s profile

Book An Appointment With Mr Vinci

Caitlin wearing her compression garment following breast

A Huge Weight Lifted: Caitlin's Breast Reduction Story

A Huge Weight Lifted: Caitlin's Breast Reduction Story

Before her breast reduction, Caitlin was forced to wear two sports bras and a bodysuit to support her breasts when jogging. Now she can run for the first time without pain.

Life Before Breast Reduction

Caitlin before and after her weight loss

Back in February this year we had the pleasure of meeting Caitlin, a mother and makeup-artist from Ecclefechan.

She embarked on an inspiring weight loss journey back in September 2023 and was able to loose an incredible 16kg over 3 months. But the one place the weight was not shifting was her breasts.

Her 20H bust made running painful, and she often returned home crying due to back pain. This was despite layering on two small sports bras and a body suit to support her breasts. She also found it very difficult to find clothes she felt comfortable in.

“I have struggled with the size of my breasts since I was thirteen, and have had periods of time of feeling really uncomfortable in my own skin. Prior to weight loss, I would regularly get ready for nights out, then have a meltdown about the size of my breasts and cancel the evening ... Losing weight but still feeling overweight was such a horrible feeling, and to have my fitness plan ruined by the size of my breasts was disheartening.”

Having heard about a friend’s positive experience at La Belle Forme, she decided to book her breast reduction consultation with consultant plastic

surgeon, Mr Parkash Lohana. Caitlin reflects:

“From the outset, I knew this clinic was special. Everyone was so kind and supportive, answering all my questions and helping me manage my nerves. I knew the minute I walked through the door that I wanted to have my breast reduction surgery there.”

Life After Breast Reduction

Following her consultation, she went ahead with her procedure last month. Her procedure was a success! Mr Lohana was able to remove an impressive 1.6kg of breast tissue from her chest.

Before and after breast reduction selfie
Before and after breast reduction

“After the surgery, it was like a weight had been lifted, both physically and emotionally. I am looking forward to running in just one sports

bra! I’m off on holiday soon and have bought myself a bikini - when I saw myself in the mirror I was in disbelief. I can’t believe it’s me. If anybody is considering breast reduction surgery, I would say to do your research and then go for it. This surgery has changed my life.”

It has been a privilege for La Belle Forme to look after Caitlin and help her along this inspiring journey. Her surgeon, Mr Lohana, offered some kind words:

“It is immensely gratifying to witness the positive impact surgery has had on her wellbeing, and we wish her all the best for the future.”

Thank you to the Daily Record for their coverage of this fantastic story.

Inspired by Caitlin's Story?

Book your breast reduction consultation and begin your own journey today. More information can be found here.

Read the full article in the Daily Record

Further reports in DnG24

Woman holding 2 silicone breast implants

Breast Augmentation Queries: Your Questions Answered

Last week we asked our Instagram followers to submit some questions about breast augmentation surgery. Here are the answers!

What is the largest implant you have used?

The largest breast implant we offer is a high profile 620cc implant. In select cases we can place a special order for a larger size.

How long does a boob job take to recover from?

Everyone is different and recovery time can vary. But generally speaking, it can take about 6 weeks to recover from your breast augmentation surgery. We advise taking between 1-2 weeks off work. It is essential you avoid doing strenuous physical activity, like lifting heavy objects and or working out until after the 6-week mark.

What are the safest implants you can get?

Hang tight, there is a little bit of background information to explain first.

Some of you may have heard about the PIP breast implant scandal some years ago. It involved faulty silicone breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP).

Following the controversy, strict reform and increased regulation has been introduced to protect patients. In the UK, breast implants are closely regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA ensures that breast implants meet safety and quality standards through rigorous testing and regulation.

ALL surgeons must adhere to professional standards and guidelines on breast implants set by regulatory bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC) and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).

Breast implants come in different types. For example silicone gel, saline, or cohesive-gel. Which implant is right for you may not be right for someone else. But you can trust that all of the implants used by registered surgeons in the UK are safe.

La Belle Forme uses premium cohesive-gel PERLE™ implants from industry leader, Nagor. Unlike traditional silicone-based breast implants, cohesive-gel implants retain their shape even if their shells are broken. This means that if your implants rupture, the risk of the filler substance leaking and migrating to other parts of the body is virtually eliminated.

During a consultation, your surgeon can provide you with more information.

Can you still breastfeed after a boob job?

Despite what you may think, the answer is often yes! Most women go on to be able to breastfeeding after getting breast implants.

Incisions around the areola and surgical techniques that include completely detaching the areola and nipples are more likely to interfere with milk production.

If this is a concern for you, make sure to mention it to your surgeon during your consultation.

Is 50 too old for breast implants?

Absolutely not! We perform breasts augmentation surgery on many people from this age group.

The most important factors when considering your eligibility for breast implants are things like your medical history and skin quality.

Your surgeon can let you know whether a bob job is right for you.

What happens to breast implants after 10 years?

On average, today's implants are designed to last more than a decade. In many cases, breast implants can remain in good shape for 20 years or more. Unless there is a medical reason why you should remove your breast implants, for example a capsular contracture or rupture, they can remain in place well beyond the 10 years mark.

Are you considering a breast augmentation?

La Belle Forme is home to some of the country’s leading cosmetic surgeons who would be delighted to see you. Book your consultation online or request a call back from one of the team.

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Welcome to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment Services

Looking for information on treating carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)? We’re here to offer compassionate care and expert solutions to help you find relief from this common and sometimes debilitating condition.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes compressed or squeezed at the wrist. This compression can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the hand and fingers.

Our Approach

At La Belle Forme, we understand the impact that carpal tunnel syndrome can have on your daily life. That’s why our team of experienced orthopaedic specialists is dedicated to providing you with personalised care and effective solutions tailored to your unique needs.

Is Treatment Necessary?

While mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome may respond to conservative measures such as rest, splinting, or medication, more severe or persistent symptoms may require additional treatment. Our team will work with you to determine the best course of action based on the severity of your symptoms and your individual circumstances.

Treatment Options

We offer a variety of treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

  • Splinting: Wearing a splint or brace at night can help keep your wrist in a neutral position and reduce pressure on the median nerve, providing relief from symptoms.
  • Medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections may be recommended to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises and stretching techniques can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the affected wrist and hand.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery: If conservative measures are ineffective or if your symptoms are severe, surgical intervention may be recommended. Our skilled orthopaedic surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures to release the pressure on the median nerve and restore function to the affected hand and fingers.

What to Expect

We understand that living with carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult, but rest assured that our team is here to support you every step of the way. We’ll take the time to thoroughly explain your treatment options, answer all of your questions, and ensure that you feel comfortable and confident throughout your journey with us.

Schedule Your Consultation

Ready to take the next step toward relief from your carpal tunnel syndrome? Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced orthopaedic specialists. We’ll evaluate your condition, discuss your treatment options, and develop a personalized plan to help you feel better and get back to doing the things you love.

Thank you for considering La Belle Forme for your carpal tunnel syndrome treatment needs. We’re here to provide you with expert care, compassion, and support every step of the way.

Your Breast Enlargement Surgery Recovery Guide

Welcome to Your Breast Enlargement Surgery Recovery Guide!

Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide to navigating the recovery process after breast enlargement surgery. Whether you’ve recently undergone augmentation or are considering it in the future, we’re here to provide you with valuable information and tips to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery journey.

Embrace Your Recovery Journey

Recovering from breast enlargement surgery is a unique experience for each individual. It’s important to approach this period with patience, self-care, and a positive mindset. While the recovery process may seem daunting at first, remember that you’re on the path toward achieving the aesthetic goals you desire.

Understanding the Recovery Timeline

Every person’s recovery timeline will vary based on factors such as surgical technique, individual healing ability, and post-operative care. However, here’s a general overview of what to expect:

  • Immediate Post-Surgery: You may experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising immediately after surgery. This is completely normal and should subside over time.
  • First Few Days: Rest is crucial during this initial phase. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding pain management, medication, and wearing compression garments, if advised.
  • First Week: You’ll gradually start to feel more comfortable and mobile. However, it’s important to avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting during this time.
  • First Month: Swelling will continue to decrease, and you’ll begin to see more noticeable results. Attend follow-up appointments with your surgeon to ensure proper healing.
  • Long-Term: Full recovery typically takes several weeks to a few months. Be patient with your body and avoid rushing back into your regular routine too quickly.

Tips for a Smooth Recovery

To promote optimal healing and comfort during your recovery, consider the following tips:

  • Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions: Your surgeon knows your unique situation best. Be sure to adhere to their post-operative guidelines regarding medication, wound care, and activity restrictions.
  • Rest and Relaxation: Allow your body ample time to rest and recover. Avoid activities that strain your chest muscles, and prioritize getting plenty of sleep.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Eat a nutritious diet, stay hydrated, and avoid smoking and alcohol consumption, as these can interfere with the healing process.
  • Gentle Movement: While it’s essential to avoid strenuous exercise during the early stages of recovery, light walking and gentle stretching can help improve circulation and prevent stiffness.
  • Reach Out for Support: Don’t hesitate to lean on friends, family, or support groups for emotional and practical support during your recovery journey. Having a strong support system can make all the difference.

Celebrate Your Progress

As you progress through your recovery journey, take time to celebrate each milestone along the way. Whether it’s noticing reduced swelling, feeling more comfortable in your body, or achieving your desired aesthetic outcome, each step forward is a testament to your strength and resilience.


Recovering from breast enlargement surgery is a transformative experience that requires patience, self-care, and a positive outlook. By following your surgeon’s guidance, prioritizing rest and relaxation, and embracing the support of loved ones, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate this journey with confidence and grace. Remember, your body is resilient, and with time, you’ll emerge from this experience feeling empowered and rejuvenated.

Scotland deemed "worst in Europe" for unqualified injectors

Scotland has been named the ‘worst country in Europe’ for unqualified injectors administering aesthetic procedures.

A recent BBC News article highlights the UK's concerning lack of regulation when it comes to injectable treatments like dermal filler. Unlike other countries around the world, the UK does not have regulations permitting only trained healthcare professionals to administer injectable treatments.

Woman receiving filler injections. Dangers of unqualifies injectors
Woman receiving filler injection

Scotland finds itself under the microscope due to the fact we also lack a ban on under 18s receiving these treatments. This is in contrast to England who have had a ban in place since 2021.

The concerning lack of regulation means that virtually anyone in the UK can become an aesthetic injector. You are not legally required to have a medical background in order to be accepted to a training course. Not only that, but you can also administer treatments in a non-clinical setting such as a hairdressers or someone's home.

As a result of the unregulated landscape, complication rates are on the rise. These complications can be serious and include infections, necrosis, and blindness. The situation is further fuelled by social media advertising. Around 90% of people looking to get filler and Botox find unqualified injectors through platforms like Instagram.

In the BBC article, the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) brought attention to the prevalence of unlicensed and counterfeit products, such as Botox. This poses further risks to patient safety.

Not only does the patient not know what is being injected into their body, but the ingredients often used in counterfeit products can cause adverse reactions within the body

Photo of Mr Taimur Shoaib Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Mr Taimur Shoaib, La Belle Forme Medical Director

La Belle Forme's Medical Director, Mr Shoaib, was featured in an article in Aesthetic Medicine on 22nd March 2024. Commenting on the current lack of regulation he added:

They call it an industry but actually we’re a medical speciality and this is why the situation is no better in the rest of the UK where unregulated lays can inject without consequences, when they cause complications to the unsuspecting public.

Licensed products go through rigorous testing before they are allowed to be used; every single batch of the product has to be tested and approved before being distributed.

Botulinum toxin (wrinkle relaxing injections) is a prescription-only medication, and acquiring the toxin without a prescription is illegal. However, without robust regulation, it is very easy for unqualified injectors to order the toxin online from untrustworthy pharmacies.

In 2022 the Scottish government said it would aim to ensure that all cosmetic treatments were carried out by appropriately trained professionals, but no details have been published since.

If you are interested in getting these treatments done, it is essential you consider this information to keep yourself informed and safe. Before attending a practitioner ask yourself whether they are qualified to handle possible complications, if they administer treatments in a sterile clinical setting, or whether they are using legitimate, safe products.


Read the full BBC article

Find our more about choosing the right aesthetic injector 

Discover Mr Shoaib's full article

Breast Procedure Options: Choosing the Right one for You

You’re considering a breast procedure, but with so many options out there, it’s unclear which procedure may be right for you. Perhaps you feel self-conscious about where your breasts sit on your chest, maybe the shape of your breasts is a concern, or their size is getting in the way of your day-to-day life. We have put together a guide to help.

I want larger breasts

A breast augmentation is often the best option for those looking to enlarge the size of their breasts. This breast procedure may also be a solution for those who would like to improve their breast shape or create more cleavage.

Breast augmentation patient before and after
Breast augmentation before and after

There are several factors to consider when getting a breast augmentation, such as the size of your implant and where it will be placed (in front of the pectoral muscle, partially in front of the muscle or behind the muscle). Your surgeon will discuss all of these options with you and recommend the best course of action to achieve the results you are looking for.

I want my breasts to be more symmetrical

There are several options available to those who seek more symmetrical breasts. Depending on the type of asymmetry you have, uneven breasts can be corrected with a breast augmentation, a breast reduction or a breast lift.

Our patient pictured below had a breast augmentation combined with a breast reduction to her right side. 300cc implants were used to create a more rounded shape.

Breast augmentation with breast reduction on one side
Breast augmentation with breast reduction before and after

For more information about the differences between and breast lift and breast reduction head to our post.

I have tubular breasts

Tubular breasts are breasts that don’t have a round shape. This happens when your breast tissue doesn’t grow as it should during puberty. You may have a gap between your breasts, oval-shaped breasts or larger areolas/nipples that point down.

There are several breast procedures available for those seeking to correct their tubular breasts: a breast augmentation, an areola reduction, a breast lift or a breast reduction.

The best breast procedure for you will depend on your desired outcome as well as your existing breast tissue. Following an in-person consultation your surgeon can recommend a treatment plan.

I want my breasts to be perkier

If you have drooping breasts and/or nipples that point downwards, a breast lift and/or a breast augmentation may be an option for you.

Breast lift patient before and after
Breast lift before and after

A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is a procedure performed to change the shape and position of the breasts. Your surgeon may recommend combining a breast lift with an implant to enhance the overall shape of the breasts, particularly curvature above the nipple.

In some cases, for example a patient with small sagging breasts, a breast augmentation alone can restore volume and lift the breasts to a more youthful position.

Your surgeon will tailor your breast procedure to your anatomy as well as your desired outcome.

I want my breasts to be smaller

To reduce the size of your breasts you may require a breast reduction or an implant exchange.

Breast reduction before and after
Breast reduction before and after

Breast reduction surgery is an option for those who are struggling to cope with the size of their natural breasts. A large bust may be causing back or neck pain, limiting physical activity, or creating feelings of self-consciousness. A breast reduction removes excess fat and tissue while lifting the breasts to a youthful position on the chest.

If you have had large breast implants inserted and would like to go smaller an implant exchange may be the best option for you. During this procedure your old implants are removed and replaced with a new set of smaller implants. You may also opt to have your implants removed entirely and go back to sporting your natural, smaller breasts.

You can have an in depth conservation with your surgeon and your goals.

Considering a breast procedure?

If you have done your research and would like to undergo a breast procedure, the first step is booking a consultation. La Belle Forme offers consultations and surgery with some of the country’s leading breast specialists and plastic surgeons. begin your journey by scheduling your consultation online or request a call back from one of our friendly front-of-house team.







Close up of surgeon using a surgical marker pen while marking body of fat woman in underwear before tummy tuck surgery.

Life-changing Abdominoplasty Result

Abdominoplasty surgery can be lifechanging.

Recently, we received an incredible testimonial from one of our abdominoplasty patients. She gave some heart-warming insight into how her procedure has impacted her life just 3 weeks post-op.

Over the years our patient struggled to feel confident in her own skin. Following the birth of her children, she felt that her body had changed in a way she struggled with. She hid her figure beneath baggy clothes and hadn’t worn jeans in over a decade. Having put her family first for years, she decided it was time to do something just for her. Three weeks after her procedure she reflects on her experience and the positive impact it has had so far:

I have been completely blown away by the service at La Belle Forme. From the wonderful receptionists who remember me every time I come in and continue our conversations where we left off when they last saw me. They are friendly, and welcoming, and an amazing first impression. The clinic itself is beautiful, clean, and professional. I knew immediately I was in the best place.

Abdominoplasty patient 3 weeks post op
Abdominoplasty patient 3 weeks post-op. She still has some swelling here. Her scar will soften and fade as she heals.

[Mr] Shoaib is just incredible! He made me feel comfortable and reassured during my initial visit, and then at my procedure appointment, he was just wonderful. He made me calm, safe, and worry-free before I went into the theatre. At the moment I’m three weeks post-op, I know I have a lot of swelling and healing to do but so far the results are phenomenal and [Mr] Shoaib has changed my life. I finally feel like I can be a happier and more confident version of myself.

The whole staff in the theatre were amazing and they had me smiling right until I went under for the surgery. I honestly couldn’t speak higher of the clinic, the staff the surgeon … and also the results. Thank you all for this life-changing experience.”

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty surgery – also known as a “tummy tuck” – is a body contouring procedure that aims to flatten and tighten the stomach. This is achieved through the removal of excess skin and fat. Tightening of the abdominal muscles is also frequently performed to create a toned, flat appearance. Liposuction can be a great accompaniment to this procedure to remove stubborn pockets of fat in areas like the love handles.

The ideal abdominoplasty patient is someone who has excess sagging skin following dramatic weight loss or pregnancy, has separated abdominal muscles, and has stubborn areas of fat that exercise has not addressed.

Considering an Abdominoplasty?

La Belle Forme is home to some of the country’s leading plastic surgeons. If you have been considering abdominoplasty surgery for some time, begin your journey today by booking a consultation. Just head to our enquiries page to request a call back from one of our friendly front-of-house team, or head to our online booking system.

Mole Mapping

World Cancer Day 2024

February the 4th is World Cancer Day 2024. We wanted to use this important day to raise awareness of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the UK.

There two main types: malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Here is some useful information to help make you aware of the symptoms of skin cancer.

Risk Factors

According to Cancer Research, a significant risk factor for developing skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Almost 9 out of 10 skin cancer cases in the UK are caused by UV radiation from the sun and sunbeds. It damages the DNA in our skin cells and this damage can build up over time and lead to skin cancer. 

Age is another key risk factor with the majority of skin cancer cases occurring in those who are middle aged or elderly.

All skin types are at risk of skin cancer. But skin cancer is more common in fair-skinned people, who tend to burn easily or go red or freckle in the sun and whose skin does not tan. This is because they have less melanin. This is the protective layer in the skin.


Melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for around 4% of all new cancer cases. Despite being less common than other forms of skin cancer, melanomas account for more cancer deaths than all other skin cancers combined. They can develop from existing moles, but more frequently appear as new marks on the skin.

Rates of malignant melanoma in the UK have risen faster than any other common cancer. It has never been more important to know what to look out for.

How to spot Melanoma

The ABCDE Melanoma Rule is an easy-to-remember system for determining whether a mole or growth may be melanoma.

Melanoma, skin cancer
ABCDE Melanoma Rule

ASYMMERTY - Melanoma is often asymmetrical, which means the shape isn’t uniform. Non-cancerous moles are typically uniform and symmetrical in shape.

BORDER - Melanoma often has borders that aren’t well defined or are irregular in shape, whereas non-cancerous moles usually have smooth, well-defined borders.

COLOUR - Melanoma lesions are often more than one colour or shade such as shades of tan, brown, or black, or areas of white, red, or blue. Moles that are benign are typically one colour.

DIAMETER -  Melanoma growths are normally larger than 6mm in diameter, roughly the diameter of a pencil.

EVOLUTION - Melanoma will often change characteristics, such as size, shape or colour. Unlike most benign moles, melanoma tends to change over time. If you have a mole or skin growth, watch it for signs of changes.


If you notice any of the ABCDE’s of melanoma, ensure you make an appointment with a GP, a dermatologist, or skin cancer specialist.

Non-melanoma skin cancers

Non-melanoma refers to all other types of skin cancer that are not melanoma. These types of skin cancers have a high survival rate when they are detected early.

Several types of skin cancer fall within the broader category of non-melanoma skin cancer, with the most common types being basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, but squamous cell carcinoma is the more dangerous as it is the more likely of the two to spread to other parts of the body.

Non-melanoma skin cancers usually develop in the outermost layer of skin (epidermis), especially in areas subjected to prolonged UV ray exposure such as the face, neck, and arms.

Treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer is completely successful in approximately 90% of cases.

How to spot non-melanoma skin cancers

The first sign of non-melanoma skin cancer is usually the appearance of a lump or discoloured patch on the skin that persists after a few weeks and slowly progresses over months or sometimes years.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) appears as a firm pink lump and may have a flat, scaly and crusted surface. The lump is often tender to touch, bleeds easily and may develop into an ulcer.




Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) usually appears as a small red or pink lump, although it can be pearly-white or ‘waxy’ looking. It can also look like a red, scaly patch. The lump slowly grows and may become crusty, bleed or develop into a painless ulcer.

If you develop a lump, lesion or skin discolouration that hasn’t healed after 4 weeks, speak to your GP. While it is unlikely to be cancer, it is best to be sure.

La Belle Forme Skin Cancer Clinic

Our Mole Clinic provides you with an assessment of moles and pigmented lesions you may be concerned about.

You can book a consultation at La Belle Forme with an experienced consultant plastic surgeon or dermatologist with specialist training in skin cancer det3ection and treatment.