Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there some way to make a mole smaller?"
there is an embarrassing mole on my arm! it has been there since I was a kid. I don't want it removed because that sounds painful. but can I make it smaller? I figure their has to be a way to do that?
Moles are very, very common, and usually not a medical issue at all and are more of a cosmetic complaint (just like you are saying). The problem is that they can, rarely, be more than that, and so they need to be treated with some respect. While there are some creams and gels that can be used to change some of the pigmentation (which may be available over the counter), and other creams and gels which your doctor could prescribe which may actually decrease the size, it is generally important to speak with your doctor before you start this. This is especially true if you have a history of sunburns, freckles, many moles, or a family history of melanoma or other skin cancer. Any of these would put you at increased risk for that common nevus (normal mole) that you think you have being something more, like an atypical nevus, which is more likely to become something bad. While removing it sounds painful, it is generally very well tolerated, and the advantage is that you would then know for sure what it was and never have to worry about it again. Please speak to your doctor, and use sunscreen.
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