If you have a mole or other growth on your skin, it’s important to consult with a dermatologist. If the at-home method of mole removal treatment is appealing, keep in mind that the risk of scarring is potentially higher than usual.
Exactly what is a mole, anyway?
A mole removal is more than just an annoying blemish on your skin. It’s a cluster of melanocytes. I’m not going to tell you that it’s absolutely beautiful and will grow into a rare diamond if you tweeze it with a pair of tweezers. Let me just say that we all have those instances where our beauty is outshone by the beauty of something else — like when our kids’ friends call their moms “hot stuff” or when girls tease us about our baby bump.
Most people have some moles that appear during childhood, and most of the time they’ll stay small and unnoticeable. However, some people often have more than one mole on their bodies growing in different spots. If you fit into this category, it may be time to go see a specialist to check if you’re dealing with skin cancer or melanoma.
Moles are common and harmless, but a few people have moles that are called congenital nevi. Those who have these types of moles in infancy are more likely to develop skin cancer later in life. Moles are not cancerous or contagious unless it has already been diagnosed as melanoma (skin cancer).
You don’t know what you’re removing
You should never remove a mole on your own, especially if you don’t know what is under the skin. Removing moles at home isn’t usually a good idea, as our doctor has spent years studying the skin, and is trained to recognize a potentially dangerous mole and whether it should be removed or not.
It’s not just the appearance of a mole that should raise your concerns. Melanoma can be nasty, invasive, and life-threatening if not detected early. Although there are some home-remedy creams available to use on a suspicious mole or ones that are no longer than a pencil point — not recommended.
If your mole appears to be changing color or growing, see your doctor. Although it’s normal for a mole to change color over time, a sudden change could indicate a problem, and moles that are bigger than average — bigger than a pencil eraser — are called dysplastic nevi. People who have 10 or more dysplastic nevi have a higher risk of developing melanoma.
Removing a mole may seem like a simple procedure. But, unless you’ve had a mole removed by a trained, qualified dermatologist, there’s almost certainly going to be at least a small scar on your skin.
Some products have ingredients that are designed to stimulate your skin to heal, which creates inflammation and can lead to a different type of scarring. After the mole is removed, you’re left with an indentation that could look worse than the mole. The solution is simple: Don’t make the same mistake twice. Avoid any product that has the words ‘promotes faster healing’, because it is for one reason only: It makes money for the company.
Beware! Despite the claims made by some manufacturers of these products and services, using a nail file or other tool to remove some layers of the mole before applying the cream or gel can make the scarring worse, and may also lead to an infection.
Safety first, when it comes to mole removal
Moles are a normal part of our skin, but they can be dangerous. Any potentially dangerous moles should be removed, and moles that are inconveniently located in places where they irritate or rub should be removal. Removing moles for cosmetic reasons is valid, too, but just let a professional remove them safely.
If you have a bothersome mole, schedule an appointment with our doctor to have it checked out. If you think it looks like melanoma, he’ll evaluate it and offer you options to consider.
Also Read: Cruciality of Health Equity