Can I get rid of a mole by myself?
Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body. They are usually harmless but can sometimes become cancerous.
If a person has a cancerous mole, then medical insurance will typically cover the cost of removal. However, insurance may not include the removal of benign moles, which is why some people may consider home remedies. Others may try home remedies because they do not want to see a doctor about a normal mole.
Although some people believe that home remedies can work, no formal studies have been carried out on their safety, effectiveness, or potential side effects. It is essential that anyone who is considering removing a mole using home remedies talks to a dermatologist (skin doctor) beforehand.
Below are 14 home remedies for removing moles. It is important to remember that none of these remedies has been proven to be effective. Some may even be dangerous.
Fourteen home remedies
Some methods of removing a mole at home have not been proven effective or may be unsafe.
The following methods are among the most popular methods of removing moles, but despite claims of their effectiveness, they are unproven.
Anyone attempting these remedies should follow instructions carefully and be aware of possible damage, irritation, and scarring of the surrounding skin.
Some people believe that applying garlic to a mole for a period of time will cause it to diminish or disappear entirely. This is because garlic contains enzymes which may dissolve the cell clusters that cause the mole. Garlic can cause skin burns.
2. Castor oil baking soda mix
Mixing castor oil and baking soda together creates an ointment that may remove moles if applied for several weeks. The theory behind this is that the baking soda dries out the mole and the castor oil helps protect the skin.
3. Oregano oil
Oregano essential oil can be harsh on the skin and must be diluted with a carrier oil, such as castor oil. When applied a few times a day for several weeks, the combination of oils may help remove a mole.
Using a specific concentration of iodine for several weeks may cause a mole to flake off. Iodine can burn, so apply petroleum jelly around the surrounding area to protect the skin. Iodine is toxic, so take great care when using it. Never apply to skin that is broken.
5. Lemon juice
Using lemon juice several times a day may bleach the mole, making it less obvious.
6. Tea tree oil
Tea tree essential oil is a well-researched essential oil best known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some people claim that applying tea tree oil several times a day for a period will cause the mole to disappear. Take care when using tea tree oil as it is potent and toxic if swallowed.
Potatoes are thought to have a natural bleaching effect. Though the potato may not fully remove the mole, it may help to fade it away over time.
8. Flaxseed oil
Some studies indicate flaxseed oil contains properties that help heal cuts and other lacerations. People also use it to help get rid of dark spots and blemishes, including moles.
9. Frankincense oil
Frankincense oil is thought to dry the skin, causing moles to scab and fall off.
Frankincense essential oil reportedly has properties that help absorb oils and dry the skin. Proponents believe that when applied daily, the frankincense oil reacts with the mole, causing it to dry out, scab, and fall off.
Always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil (like sweet almond oil or coconut oil) before applying to the skin.
10. Banana peels
12. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide reportedly has properties that will help remove moles when applied to the skin. It should be applied three to four times a day. Check with a pharmacist to find the type of hydrogen peroxide deemed suitable for this purpose.
13. Aloe vera
Aloe vera contains many recognized skin-promoting properties. Some people believe that when used over time, aloe vera will help remove moles. Apply the plant or a manufactured product to the mole. It is important to do an allergy test first, as it is possible to be allergic to aloe vera.
14. Coconut oil
Coconut oil may help with other skin issues, but there are no studies that indicate it can help remove moles. However, some people believe it will reduce the size of the mole when applied daily.
Remedies to avoid
Any suspicious-looking moles should be assessed, in case they are cancerous.
Nobody should use an at-home mole removal method in place of a medical assessment. It is important to note that home remedies will not effectively treat a cancerous mole.
Anyone who has a suspicious-looking mole or wants to remove a mole must see a doctor first. The doctor can check whether the mole is cancerous and will be able to discuss removal options.
People should use caution with the mole removal creams available in pharmacies or other stores. Many of these over-the-counter creams will remove more than the mole itself, which can leave a pocket in the skin that will not heal or go away.
People who have issues with healing tissue, such as people with diabetes, should work with their doctor to safely remove moles.
A person should also avoid or stop using any home remedy that causes an adverse reaction. If using an at-home method, a person should immediately discontinue using it if they develop redness, swelling, or any other side effects.
When to see a doctor
People should see a doctor or dermatologist before starting any at-home mole removal method.
People should also be aware of the signs of skin cancer. If a person notices one or more of the following signs in their mole, they should visit a doctor for an examination:
- irregular shape
- irregular borders
- rapidly changing shape or size
- changing colors
- diameter larger than ¼ inch
Home remedies for removing moles are not well researched and offer varying degrees of risk.
A person should never use home removal methods as a substitute for being examined by a doctor. A doctor can help identify cancerous moles that require different treatment.
For some people, at-home methods may be a low-cost solution to removing unwanted moles, but they must research the remedy thoroughly and be aware that it may not work, may cause side effects, and may even be dangerous.