Mole Removal

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • Moles are growths on the skin. They are usually brown or black and can appear individually or in groups. Moles normally appear on the skin before the age of 30. Moles can change through the years; they can change colors or become raised. Hairs can develop on moles. Almost everyone has at least one mole. Moles are normally benign or harmless and because of that, usually don’t require any treatment.


    Pay Attention to Changes


    While moles do not often change into cancer, you should be aware of any changes and talk to your dermatologist if you notice any of the following:

    • Change in size, especially if it seems to be spreading or becoming broader
    • Change in the border, especially if the edges become irregular
    • A change in shape
    • A change in color or different shades of color appearing in the same mole
    • Surface of the mole changes, crusts, bleeds or itches

    If you notice any of these changes, you should consult your dermatologist.

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    Medical Removal


    If your doctor believes your mole should be removed, he will remove it through excision, that is, cutting out the mole. For large moles, your doctor may first take a small part of the mole and send it for further testing. While signs of cancer is the main reason for mole removal, some people choose to have moles removed for cosmetic reasons - they are self-conscious of how the mole looks.


    Home Removal


    There are a number of products available over-the-counter for mole removal. These should be used with caution and only after you talk with a dermatologist to make sure it is safe to remove the mole. Some of these products require you to scratch the surface of the mole using a needle or nail file so the medication can be absorbed into the mole. Some of these contain ingredients that can burn the skin.


    Natural ingredients, commonly found in your kitchen, are often used as a home remedy for moles. Cider vinegar, grapefruit and castor oil are a couple of the ingredients people use. These methods are safe and probably won’t cause any long-term problems but most must be used over a period of weeks or months before the mole disappears.


    Because of the possibility of melanoma, it is always a good idea to talk with your dermatologist first. The U.S. Food and Drug Administrations “recommends moles are reviewed by a licensed medical professional to ensure they are not cancerous. Moles when left untreated can possibly lead to melanoma, a form of cancer and self-treatment of diseases such as cancer can cause a delay in early diagnosis, which may help prevent life threatening complications.” [1]


    References:

    “Moles,” 2004, Ann Carter, M.D., McKesson Health Solutions


    “Nature Relief is Conducting a Voluntary Recall of Nature Relief Instant Wart and Mole Remover,” 2011, June 22, Staff Writer, U.S. Food and Drug Administration




Published On: February 11, 2014