Getting Rid of Moles
Although some people think of their moles as beauty marks, many others aren’t as enamored. Here’s how to go about getting rid of unwanted moles.
Are you troubled by moles on your skin? Also called beauty marks, nearly everyone has more than ten moles on his or her body, often from birth. Moles occur when skin cells called melanocytes grow in clusters instead of spread apart. Melanocytes make pigment, which gives skin color, and when clustered the color becomes more intense and precisely located. Moles may begin flesh-colored and darken over time due to age, exposure to sun and UV rays, and biological changes, which makes them more noticeable. While many people flaunt their moles, for some people, a mole is a spot on the skin they want to get rid of. More often than not, you will need to consult a doctor before removing a mole.
A single mole is called a nevus, and multiple moles are called nevi. Most of them are normal. Normal moles have the following qualities:
- Their color is pink, light brown, dark brown, or black.
- They are round or oval shaped.
- They can be tiny or very large.
- They can be flat on the skin’s surface or slightly elevated and bumpy.
- They may or may not have hairs growing out of them.
Abnormal or potentially dangerous moles, which can signal or develop into melanoma, are called dysplastic nevi. These moles, which typically must be removed, have the following qualities:
- Their borders or edges are often irregularly shaped and hard to define — they are not a recognizable circle or oval shape.
- Their surfaces can be both flat and raised.
- They often measure 5–15mm in diameter, which is larger than a common normal mole.
- They can be tan colored or dark brown on a pink background.
- They appear anywhere on the body but most typically on the back, chest, buttocks, arms, breasts, and scalp.
- They are found on people who often have about 100 or more normal moles, while most people without dysplastic nevi have about 15–20 normal moles.
Moles can be removed in various ways, and the proper way to remove a mole depends a great deal on the type of mole it is. Here are some common ways to get rid of moles:
- Surgery. A doctor will remove the tissue of the mole with a scalpel and sew or suture the wound closed.
- Electrosurgery. A doctor will shave the mole with a scalpel and then destroy the tissue beneath with an electric needle.
- Cryosurgery. A doctor will freeze the mole tissue using liquid nitrogen, which destroys it.
- Laser surgery. A doctor will use a special laser to destroy the mole tissue.
- Acids. There are both over-the-counter and prescribed acid formulas available to help remove moles.
- Herbal treatment. BIO-T is applied to the mole and covered in a bandage. This can destroy some moles in as few as five days.
There are some natural ways people have tried to get rid of moles. These home remedies include:
- Garlic. Cut a thin slice and put on the mole, cover with a bandage and repeat twice a day for several days.
- Immerse the mole in sour apple juice three times a day for three weeks.
- Apply onion juice to your mole for several weeks.
- Mix a paste of baking soda with castor oil and dab on mole. Let sit overnight. Repeat for a week.
- Cut the roots off a dandelion plant and rub them into the mole until its juice covers the area.
While home remedies don’t always give the best results, you can get rid of your moles permanently with some simple strategies or a quick visit to your doctor (which you should do if you have any concern about it).