Moles are common skin growths caused by the clustering of melanocytes, which contain melanin-producing cells responsible for skin color. Moles initially appear as skin abrasions, and turn brown or black over time due to sun exposure.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people have about 10-40 moles on their bodies. Moles are typically harmless. However, in rare cases they can be cancerous if not diagnosed and removed.
Although the following home remedies may help remove moles, they are not proven to work, especially overnight. And it’s important to remember that trying to get rid of moles at home comes with a risk of skin damage, irritation, rashes, and scarring.
11 ways to get rid of moles
- Apple cider vinegar: Malic and tartaric acids found in apple cider vinegar may dissolve the mole when applied using a cotton pad and left for an hour. Repeat this for 2 weeks to get rid of the mole.
- Garlic: Crush a few garlic cloves and form a paste. Apply the paste to the mole. Once the paste is dried, apply an adhesive bandage over the mole and leave it overnight. Repeat this for 1 week.
- Castor oil: Mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Apply the paste to the mole and leave overnight. Apply the paste for a month to see results.
- Pineapple juice: Mix pineapple juice with sea salt to make a scrub, apply the mixture over the mole, and scrub the area for 15 minutes to remove the top layer of skin over the mole. Use this scrub for a week for best results.
- Aloe vera: Apply aloe vera pulp to the mole and leave it to dry for 2 hours.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. Apply tea tree oil over the area twice a day.
- Iodine: Apply iodine directly to the mole using a Q-tip, 3 times a day.
- Honey with flaxseed oil: Mix honey and flaxseed oil and apply it to the mole.
- Banana peels: Banana peels contain enzymes that may effectively remove a mole.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide has properties that can help remove a mole.
- Coconut oil: When applied daily, it is believed that coconut oil can reduce the size of the mole.
When should I worry about a mole?
Any differences in the color, size, or shape of a mole may be a warning sign of skin cancer. A mole that suddenly starts itching, develops a reddish border, or bleeds must be investigated. Your dermatologist will evaluate the mole to determine whether it should be removed.
Your doctor will use the ABCDE guide to assess your mole:
- Asymmetry: Irregular in shape
- Border: Irregular borders
- Color: Uneven color
- Diameter: Large in size
- Evolving: Has changed or grown recently
How are moles professionally removed?
- Surgical removal or shaving: Uses a scalpel to cut off the mole. The wound is cauterized or covered in an antibiotic cream or solution to stop the bleeding and prevent infection.
- Excision: Used for flat moles that are deep within the skin. The mole and surrounding skin are sterilized and numbed, a scalpel is used to cut out the mole, and the wound is then stitched.
- Cryosurgery: Uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the mole using a cotton swab or spray that causes a blister to form on the skin. Once the skin heals, it should return to normal.
- Electrocoagulation: Burns the mole by shocking it with an electric current.
- Laser: Quick and painless technique that works the same way as burning the mole tissue.
IMAGESBrowse our medical image collection of allergic skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis and more caused by allergies See Images
Gardner S. What Happens When You Get a Mole or Skin Tag Removed. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/skin-cancer-skin-self-exam#091e9c5e814f4c33-3-7
Jaliman D. Moles, Freckles, and Skin Tags. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/moles-freckles-skin-tags
American Academy of Dermatology. Moles: Overview. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/moles-overview
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