How do I Choose the Best Methods of Mole and Wart Removal?

N. Madison
N. Madison

The best way to choose a method of mole and wart removal is with the help of a doctor. A doctor can examine your skin and make sure you really have a wart or mole instead of another type of skin condition. If you do need mole and wart removal, your doctor may provide advice about the safest and most effective way to get rid of these skin problems. For example, he may suggest that you use an over-the-counter wart remover, have an in-office procedure, or he may even suggest a home remedy involving duct tape to get rid of a wart. A doctor may, however, suggest a shave excision, surgery, or laser surgery to remove a mole.

A skin mole.
A skin mole.

Sometimes the best methods of mole and wart removal require a visit to one’s doctor for evaluation and treatment. If your doctor examines your skin and determines that you have a wart, he may recommend an over-the-counter treatment that contains salicylic acid to get rid of it. He may even recommend the use of duct tape to smother and exfoliate the wart. If these treatments do not work or you don’t want to attempt them, he may recommend an in-office treatment to freeze the wart tissue and destroy it. Sometimes minor surgery or laser surgery may be useful as well.

Flat skin mole.
Flat skin mole.

The best methods of mole and wart removal are not the same. Though there are some over-the-counter treatment methods that are proven effective for the safe removal of warts, the same does not hold true for moles. Over-the-counter treatments can be helpful for removing some types of dark marks on the skin, but they usually fail when it comes to treating true moles.

Warts on a hand.
Warts on a hand.

Another major difference in mole and wart removal options is the fact that a home remedy such as duct tape application may work for warts, but there are no home remedies that are proven reliable for moles. Once your doctor has confirmed that you have a mole, you may choose to have it removed via a shave excision, a treatment that is usually reserved for smaller moles. To perform a shave excision, a doctor cuts around and under the mole to remove it.

A person applying medicine to a wart.
A person applying medicine to a wart.

Another option for mole removal is surgery. For this treatment, a doctor cuts around the mole and beneath it. He removes a small amount of healthy skin surrounding the mole as well. He then closes the wound using sutures. This may be the best option for a larger mole.

A raised mole.
A raised mole.

Sometimes laser surgery is also used for the treatment of moles. With this type of treatment, laser energy is focused on the mole tissue to destroy it. Unfortunately, it is unlikely to prove effective for treating mole tissue that is deeply embedded in the skin.

Woman with a mole above her upper lip.
Woman with a mole above her upper lip.
Duct tape can be used to remove warts, but not moles.
Duct tape can be used to remove warts, but not moles.
Surgery is the most common method for mole removal.
Surgery is the most common method for mole removal.
To remove a mole, doctors may cut or burn it off.
To remove a mole, doctors may cut or burn it off.
Cryotherapy is the most reliable way to remove warts.
Cryotherapy is the most reliable way to remove warts.
A doctor may suggest laser surgery to remove a mole.
A doctor may suggest laser surgery to remove a mole.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

donasmrs

I had several warts on my hand. I had them removed with cryotherapy at the doctor's office. It was the easiest treatment I've ever had. The doctor just applied liquid nitrogen to the warts to freeze them. It wasn't even painful.

SteamLouis

@ZipLine-- I think that's a very bad idea. Removing a wart on your own might be okay but wart and mole removal are two different things. I'd still avoid cutting a wart though because of the risk of infection. But infection is a bigger risk with moles because they tend to bleed more when they are removed.

If you get it infected, you might have some serious complications and you will definitely have to see a doctor for antibiotics. You might have trouble controlling the bleeding and you will have scarring.

I don't think it's going to cost a lot to have a mole removed. And hospitals can offer assistance if you're in financial trouble. Please let a dermatologist deal with the mole. Do not attempt to remove it yourself.

ZipLine

I have a medium sized, raised mole on my stomach. I was just going to leave it alone but it's causing problems for me. When I wear jeans, the mole ends up right under the jean button and hurts when I sit down and get up. I think I need to have the mole removed.

Can I remove it myself with a topical numbing gel and a sterilized razor? I will go to a doctor if I have to but I don't have insurance right now and I don't want to pay a lot for something so simple.

I've removed a wart by myself in the same way before.

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