Cosmetic Medicine / Plastic Surgery Dermatology

Can I get rid of a mole by myself?

Moles are a skin growth that can develop anywhere on the body. Many people would like to remove a mole, but this can be costly. Instead, some people may turn to home remedies. But are they effective and safe?

Most people have between 10 and 40 moles on their body. They are usually harmless, although can sometimes become cancerous.

If a person has a cancerous mole, then medical insurance will typically cover the cost of removal. However, insurance may not include the removal of benign moles, which is why some people may consider home remedies. Others may try home remedies because they do not want to undergo surgery.

Although some people believe that home remedies can work, no formal studies have been carried out on their safety, effectiveness, or potential side effects. It is essential that anyone who is considering removing a mole using home remedies talks to a dermatologist (skin doctor) beforehand.

Below are 15 home remedies for removing moles. It is important to remember that none of these remedies has been proven to be effective. Some may even be dangerous.

Fifteen home remedies

Woman wanting to remove a mole on her back.
Some methods of removing a mole at home have not been proven effective or may be unsafe.

The following methods are among the most popular methods of removing moles, but despite claims of their effectiveness, they are unproven.

Anyone attempting these remedies should follow instructions carefully and be aware of possible damage, irritation, and scarring of the surrounding skin.

1. Garlic

Some people believe that applying garlic to a mole for a period of time will cause it to diminish or disappear entirely because garlic contains enzymes which may dissolve the cell clusters that cause the mole.

2. Castor oil baking soda mix

Mixing castor oil and baking soda together creates an ointment that may remove moles if applied for several weeks. The theory behind this is that the baking soda dries out the mole and the castor oil helps protect the skin.

3. Oregano oil

Oregano oil can be harsh on the skin and must be diluted with a carrier oil, such as castor oil. When applied a few times a day for several weeks, the combination of oils may help remove a mole.

4. Iodine

Using a specific concentration of iodine for several weeks may cause a mole to flake off. Iodine can burn, so apply petroleum jelly around the surrounding area to protect the skin. Iodine is toxic, so take great care when using it.

5. Lemon juice

Using lemon juice can several times a day may bleach the mole, making it less obvious.

6. Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a well researched essential oil best known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Some people claim that applying tea tree oil several times a day for a period will cause the mole to disappear. Take care when using tea tree oil as it is potent and toxic if swallowed.

7. Potatoes

Potatoes are supposed to have a natural bleaching effect. Though the potato may not fully remove the mole, it may help to fade it away over time.

8. Flaxseed oil

Some studies indicate flaxseed oil contains properties that help heal cuts and other lacerations. People also use it to help get rid of dark spots and blemishes, including moles.

9. Frankincense oil

Frankincense essential oil in bottle on wooden table next to crystals.
Frankincense oil is thought to dry the skin, causing moles to scab and fall off.

Frankincense oil reportedly has properties that help absorb oils and dry the skin. Proponents believe that when applied daily, the frankincense oil reacts with the mole, causing it to dry out, scab, and fall off.

10. Black salve ointment

Black salve ointment made from bloodroot herb claims to remove moles and freckles. Regular application of the ointment over several days may result in the disappearance of the mole.

11. Banana peels

Banana peels contain specific enzymes and acids that some people think can help remove a mole. One potential benefit of using banana peel on the skin is that it will act as a moisturizer.

12. Honey

Some studies indicate that honey has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Some believe that applying honey to moles will cause them to fade away within a few days.

13. Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide reportedly has properties that will help remove moles when applied to the skin. It should be applied 3 to 4 times a day. Check which type of hydrogen peroxide is deemed suitable for this purpose.

14. Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains many recognized skin-promoting properties. Some people believe that when used over time, aloe vera will help remove moles.

15. Coconut oil

Coconut oil may help with other skin issues, but there are no studies that indicate it can help remove moles. However, some people believe it will improve moles when applied daily.

Remedies to avoid

Dermatologist inspecting mole.
Any suspicious-looking moles should be assessed, in case they are cancerous.

Nobody should use an at-home mole removal method in place of a medical assessment. It is important to note that home remedies will not effectively treat a cancerous mole.

Anyone who has a suspicious-looking mole or wants to remove a mole must see a doctor first. The doctor can check whether the mole is cancerous and will be able to discuss removal options.

People should avoid the mole removal creams available in pharmacies or other stores. Many of these over-the-counter creams will remove more than the mole itself, which can leave a pocket in the skin that will not heal or go away.

A person should also avoid or stop using any home remedy that causes an adverse reaction. If using an at-home method, a person should immediately discontinue using it if they develop redness, swelling, or any other side effects.

When to see a doctor

People should see a doctor or dermatologist before starting any at-home mole removal method.

People should also be aware of the signs of skin cancer. If a person notices one or more of the following signs in their mole, they should visit a doctor for an examination:

  • irregular shape
  • irregular borders
  • rapidly changing shape or size
  • changing colors
  • diameter larger than ¼ inch


Home remedies for removing moles are not well researched and offer varying degrees of risk.

A person should never use home removal methods as a substitute for being examined by a doctor. A doctor can help identify cancerous moles that require different treatment.

For some people, at-home methods may be a low-cost solution to removing unwanted moles, but they must research the remedy thoroughly and be aware that it may not work, may cause side effects, and may even be dangerous.

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