Is there such a thing as a mole removal kit?

Tags:neck mole excision

I know there are over the counter kits to remove skin tags so I'm hoping that exists for mole removal too. I've had them examined by a dermatologist and was told that they're not the type to be worried about. I'm lucky that I don't have that many but the ones I have are too visible (neck and collarbone area) and I want them gone. I'm not ruling out having it done by a doctor but why not check this out first? If OTC mole removal kits are available for purchase, what, in your professional opinion, are the best ones? Much obliged for your help.

MiriamLove

F, 65, New York

First and foremost, attempting to remove a mole without seeing a qualified medical professional is NEVER advised. For one, the removed lesion could be precancerous or cancerous, and if removed at home, will never be properly tested by a pathologist. Second, without the proper technique, training, or equipment, a lesion might only be partially removed and at risk of becoming infected.

While there are do-it-yourself dark spots, age spots, skin tag and mole removal kits that claim to achieve a blemish-free skin, it is advisable to remove unwanted moles by first booking a consultation with a dermatologist.

The best mole removal techniques are those used by doctors and dermatologists:

  1. Shave excision: This is suitable for small moles. The area is numbed and the mole is sliced off with a sharp blade. No stitches are required.
  2. Punch excision: The area is numbed, and an instrument similar to an apple corer is applied directly over the center of the mole. With a gentle twisting motion and light pressure, the lesion is removed in a small cylinder shape. This procedure requires one to two sutures to close.
  3. Surgical excision: Large moles often need to be surgically removed. The mole is excised from the skin, then the area is sutured closed.

These removal techniques are proven effective and safer than home removal methods. Some of the more widely available natural remedies, such as castor oil and apple cider vinegar, have no evidence to support their efficacy.

Others, such as mole removal creams that claim to eradicate moles with a single application of topical ointment, can in fact be dangerous. These often require the scraping of the mole first, before the cream is applied. Scraping the top of the mole with a sharp blade can result in infection or problematic scarring if not performed correctly.

I would advise you to steer clear of do-it-yourself kits and instead find a board-certified dermatologist with experience in mole removal -- this way you can be assured of the sterility of the tools, as well as your own personal safety, and know that you’ll come away with aesthetically pleasing results.

Moles are common skin growths. Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body. Fortunately, most moles are harmless and represent no cause for concern. However, many individuals find them troublesome because of how they appear and seek mole removal.

Mole removal requires caution. Before attempting removal of any moles it is critical that you have a dermatologist of specialist examine your moles to check that they are not malignant or cancerous.

Mole removal at home is generally not advisable. While it may seem appealing because of the convenience and low cost, there are risks involved. Most methods of do-it-yourself mole removal are unproven, and can be dangerous. Some such at-home mole removal methods that should be avoided include:

  • Removal of the mole with apple cider vinegar.
  • Taping garlic to the mole.
  • Applying iodine to the mole.
  • Cutting the mole with scissors or a razor blade.
  • Application of solutions of hydrogen peroxide or flaxseed oil to the mole.
  • Mole removal creams. These require you to scrape off the top part of the mole, then rub cream into it. They claim that within a day a scab will form and the mole will fall off.

These at-home mole removal products and techniques can result in thick scars forming, unforeseen side effects and the risk of infection. The most critical danger is that if you haven’t had your moles thoroughly checked by a specialist, you may damage a cancerous mole or melanoma.

For this reason, it is best to go to a dermatologist for mole removal. Dermatologists can safely remove moles using two techniques: surgical excision, or surgical shave. Surgical excision means the entire mole will be cut out from the skin, with the wound sutured closed. A surgical shave uses a blade to shave the top of the mole off. No sutures or stitches are needed.

Hi MirianLove,

Be very wary of ‘do-it-yourself’ home remedies. Back in 2011, there were several incidents where the ingredients in some of these kits caused severe burns. They were recalled by the FDA, with extreme warnings.

There are some suggestions that lemon juice helps lighten the skin, as it’s a well-known bleaching agent. However, you’ll probably be chasing a dream here, as there’s no scientific evidence to prove that it helps lighten or remove freckles or moles.

I would recommend visiting a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist to know what what your options are.

You can also check out our blog for more information on mole and freckle removal.

Best,

Diana