How to Remove Moles Without Surgery

Three Parts:Getting a Mole Safely RemovedKnowing What to AvoidTrying Unverified Home Remedies

Moles are clusters of pigmented cells that appear as brown or black spots on the skin. If you have a mole you want to remove, the safest, most effective way to do it is by consulting with a doctor to have it professionally removed. It's an easy out-patient process that just takes a few minutes. Attempting to remove a mole on your own can result in scarring that looks worse than marks left after professional removal. If you really don't want to deal with surgery, try fading the appearance of your mole using an unverified home remedy.

Part 1
Getting a Mole Safely Removed

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    Make an appointment with a dermatologist. Going about mole removal the safe way is a decision you won't regret. It's extremely important to have your mole examined by a professional rather than trying to remove it yourself, even if you just want it removed for cosmetic reasons. When you see a physician, he or she will be able to tell whether the mole is potentially cancerous. If it is, professional removal is the only safe method, since other methods won't adequately deal with the cancer cells.
    • If you don't have a dermatologist, ask your primary care physician to refer you to one.
    • If you don't have health insurance, see if there's a health clinic in your area that provides mole removal services or referrals.
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    Determine whether a biopsy is needed. At your appointment, the doctor will examine your mole to see whether it appears to be cancerous. If the mole exhibits common symptoms of melanoma or another type of skin cancer, the doctor will order a biopsy to test whether cancer cells are present. If it doesn't, the doctor will be able to go ahead and remove the mole.
    • To perform a biopsy, a sample from the mole is sent to a lab and tested.
    • If it comes back positive, further treatment will be needed. If it's negative, you can choose to keep the mole or have it removed.
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    See if shaving is an option. Surgical shaving is a procedure in which the mole is shaved off the surface of the skin. Local anesthesia is administered near the mole, so you won't feel pain during the process (aside from a needle prick). No stitches are required to heal a surgical shave. The process will leave a small scar behind.[1]
    • In some cases the area is also cauterized using a tool that burns away layers of skin to reduce the chances that the mole will grow back.
    • This option may be available for moles that are noncancerous and relatively small. Moles that cover a larger surface area are too big to be shaved off and cauterized.
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    Have a surgical excision if necessary. If the mole is cancerous, or if it's large and covers a big surface area, it will probably need to be removed using surgical excision. After administering local anesthesia, the dermatologist will make a deeper cut to remove the mole and surrounding tissues, preventing it from growing back. The wound is then closed using sutures designed to leave minimal scarring.[2]
    • While it may sound like a big deal, surgical excision is actually a quick, out-patient medical procedure. Once the treatment gets underway it will be over in a matter of minutes.
    • Since only local anesthesia is administered, you'll be fine to drive home and go about your day as normal.
    • Be sure to care for the wound as directed. You may have to return to the doctor's office to get the sutures removed.

Part 2
Knowing What to Avoid

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    Avoid using mole removal creams. These creams are often sold online, marketed as a cheap, noninvasive alternative to surgical removal. In fact, mole removal creams can end up leaving deep pockets in your skin, since they go beyond the mole and dig into the skin underneath, causing irreparable damage. The small scar left behind by surgical removal is minimal in comparison.[3]
    • In addition, mole removal creams don't address the issue of whether or not the mole is cancerous. Applying it to a cancerous mole can be very dangerous; cancerous cells could remain and end up growing out of control without your knowledge.
    • Don't use any type of cream or other product without consulting a doctor first.
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    Avoid laser mole removal. This option is offered by some cosmetic salons, but it's not a good alternative to having your mole professionally removed by a doctor. Laser removal, like mole removal creams, does not factor in whether the mole is cancerous. Plus, the scar left behind by laser removal can be the same or worse than a surgical scar. Best to go to the dermatologist to have your mole removed safely.
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    Don't ignore a mole that's changing. If you don't like the prospect of having surgery, you might be tempted to let your mole be and forget about it. That's usually fine, unless you notice that the mole has changed over time. A changing mole can be a sign of the presence of cancer cells. Use the ABCDE guide to examine your mole. If you notice the following, be sure to make an appointment with a doctor:[4]
    • A is for asymmetrical shape. If your mole has two very different looking halves, this could be a sign of cancer.
    • B is for border; look for moles with irregular, rather than smooth, borders.
    • C is for color. Moles that have changed in color, have more than one color, or have color gradations should be checked out.
    • D is for diameter. If your mole is larger than 14 inch (0.6 cm) and still growing, have it checked.
    • E is for evolving. Look for any changes to your mole that occur over weeks or months.
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    Protect your skin from UV rays to prevent new moles from forming. Exposure to the sun's rays can cause new moles to form. It also makes older moles more susceptible to changing and developing cancer. Be sure to protect yourself from UV rays so you don't develop new moles, and your existing ones stay healthy.
    • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, even in the winter.
    • Try to keep your moles covered with a coverup or a hat.
    • Avoid using a tanning bed.

Part 3
Trying Unverified Home Remedies

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    Try apple cider vinegar. While there are no science-based studies confirming that this method works, some have found that applying apple cider vinegar reduces the appearance of moles. To use this method,
    • Put a few drops of apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball.
    • Put the cotton ball on the mole and wrap a bandage around it.
    • Leave the bandage on for an hour.
    • Do this every day until the mole disappears. Stop if skin irritation occurs.
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    Use garlic. Garlic has many medicinal properties, and some say it helps with mole removal. To give this method a try, you need fresh garlic, not dried. Here's what to do:
    • Take a clove of garlic and slice it in half.
    • Put the half piece of garlic on the mole and leave it overnight wrapped in a bandage.
    • Repeat for several days. Stop if skin irritation occurs.
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    Use banana peels. Some say applying a banana peel to a mole will help remove it. At the very least, it will moisturize your skin.
    • Pull the peel off a banana.
    • Apply it to the mole for an hour.
    • Repeat every day until the mole is gone. Stop if skin irritation occurs.
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    Try baking soda and castor oil. Take a pinch of baking soda and moisten it with a couple of drops of castor oil. Dab this paste onto the mole. Leave it on overnight. After a few days, check to see if the mole is still there. Stop if skin irritation occurs.
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    Use tea tree oil. Brush tea tree oil on the mole twice daily using a q-tip. At night, you can also soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil and secure it over the mole with a Band-Aid. Repeat this method for a month, or however long it takes the mole to go away, potentially a lifetime. Stop if skin irritation occurs.


  • Moles can be beautiful! Try to get used to your mole and grow to like it. There's no reason to remove it unless you think it might be cancerous.
  • Don't pick or scratch at it.


  • Don't pick or scratch at your mole. It may bleed, and if it does come off you'll be left with a scar and it may come back again.
  • Never attempt to surgically remove a mole at home.

Article Info

Categories: Skin Conditions