Moles are common skin growths. You probably have more than one on your face and body. Most people have 10 to 40 moles somewhere on their skin.

Most moles are harmless and nothing to worry about. You don’t need to remove a mole unless it bothers you. But if you don’t like the way it affects your appearance, or if it’s getting irritated from rubbing against your clothes, removing the mole is an option.

The moles you absolutely need to consider removing are ones that have changed. Any differences in a mole’s color, size, or shape could be a warning sign of skin cancer. See a dermatologist for a checkup.

You might be tempted to remove moles at home because of the convenience and cost. Before you try to snip off your mole with scissors or rub on a store-bought mole cream, read on to learn the risks involved.

Are there effective ways to remove moles at home?

A number of websites offer “do-it-yourself” tips for removing a mole at home. These methods aren’t proven to work, and some may be dangerous. You should talk to your doctor about your options before you try any home remedies for mole removal.

Some of these unproven methods include:

  • burning the mole off with apple cider vinegar
  • taping garlic to the mole to break it down from the inside
  • applying iodine to the mole to kill the cells inside
  • cutting off the mole with scissors or a razor blade

Other home remedies that claim to remove moles include applying:

  • a mixture of baking soda and castor oil
  • banana peel
  • frankincense oil
  • tea tree oil
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • aloe vera
  • flaxseed oil

Pharmacies and online stores also sell mole removal creams. To use these creams, you first scrape off the top part of the mole. Then you rub the cream into the mole. The products claim that within a day after applying the cream, a scab will form. When the scab falls off, the mole will go with it.

Safer alternatives

A safer way to conceal moles if you’re self-conscious about them is to cover them with makeup. If you have a hair growing out of a mole, it’s safe for you to clip the hair or pluck it.

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