Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will over-the-counter wart removal remove moles?"
I have several really prominent moles on my face that I don't like. Is it possible to get rid of them using an over the counter wart removal medicine? It seems like it should work on the same principles. If not, what are my options for DIY mole removal, or do I have to see a dermatologist?
Warts are skin infections caused by certain viruses. The principle by which wart removal creams work is that they cause irritation to the wart, which 'wakes up' the body's own immune system which recognizes and fights off the virus. So it is actually the body itself that gets rid of the wart in the end. This principle does not work with moles, since moles are actually collections of the body's own pigment cells in the skin. Irritating the mole with a chemical cream will not make it go away. The only effective ways to remove moles are to have them surgically removed by a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon or, sometimes, to have them lightened up with the application of a laser based treatment. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular skin concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist might be advised.
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