From acne or stretch marks to wrinkles and sun spots, the various imperfections that can affect your skin are overwhelming. While most of these issues are harmless, others may be a serious cause for concern. Considering many people confuse cancerous tumors on the skin with moles, understanding the differences is essential for early detection and treatment.
While surprising to hear, moles are typically smaller in diameter than a pencil's eraser and appear to be an even color of dark pink or brown. In addition, moles do not typically grow in size or change in color, so this raised bump is most likely not an early sign of cancer. However, visit your dermatologist for a full exam. Once you determine the mole is not cancerous, use this guide to find the best option for removal.
In most cases, you will want your dermatologist to remove moles. Thankfully, you can choose from one of the following surgical options, which are both conducted in your dermatologist's office:
- Excision – After administering a light anesthetic to the skin's surface, the dermatologist will make a few small incisions around the mole. Then, the mole is cut and lifted out of the outer layer of the skin. In most cases, stitches are not necessary unless the mole is deep within the skin.
- Shaving – Thin, flattened moles that are not embedded into the skin can easily be shaved off with a scalpel. Your dermatologist will still need to numb the skin using a light anesthetic before using this method.
Most professional removals are safe and effective. However, discuss the possibility of reactions if you are allergic to any anesthetics. After the procedures, be sure to clean the wound using water or hydrogen peroxide before applying a clean bandage to the site. Taking this proper precaution will reduce your risk of developing an infection.
While your dermatologist can remove moles easily in their own office, you may prefer a natural approach. Of course, it is important to note that a complete exam by a professional is imperative to rule out skin cancer.
To remove uncancerous moles in a natural, holistic manner, consider the following:
- Garlic – Commonly associated with flavorful Italian dishes and scaring away vampires, garlic is also an effective option for removing moles. Garlic contains enzymes, which break down pigments, while healing skin. To use, cut a fresh garlic clove open and place it directly on your mole. Cover with a bandage and leave it on overnight. Repeat each night for a few days for a visible reduction in the mole's size and color.
- Apple Cider Vinegar - Apple cider vinegar contains acidic properties that are antibacterial and antiviral. These natural acidic properties will break down the mole's exterior, decreasing its size and color without the use of harmful ingredients or medications. To use, dip a cotton ball in a cup of apple cider vinegar before placing directly on your mole. Secure it in place with a bandage and allow it to soak the mole overnight. Remove the bandage in the morning and repeat every night for a week or until the mole falls off.
- Pineapple Juice – The juice from a fresh pineapple is also beneficial for removing moles since it contains citric acids. These acids will lighten the color of your mole. Although the juice will not remove the mole completely, it can make them less visible. Soak a cotton ball in fresh pineapple juice and secure over the mole with a bandage. Repeat for a few days for lighter, less noticeable mole.
Moles are not usually signs of skin cancer, but they can affect your self-esteem. By using one of these mole removal methods and the help of a dermatologist, your skin will appear healthier and more appealing.
To learn more about mole removal, contact a dermatologist.