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Mole Removal Kits: Dangerous or Effective?

I'm not too attached to my moles, but a DIY approach to removing them? Scary territory. It's not hard to find mole-removing creams and lotions on the Internet, and while it might be tempting to rid yourself of an unsightly dark spot, think twice before you decide to play doctor. These at-home treatments, some of which claim to take about 20 minutes to work, often require the use of an emery board or toothpick to scratch the mole down and then the application of "natural," herbal ingredients to essentially burn mole off. While, yes, some of these over-the-counter products can actually do what they're supposed to do, there are some major flaws to taking these skin treatments into your own hands, including accidental scarring or pitting of the skin. To find out the most dangerous side effect, keep reading.

Perhaps the biggest danger of these DIY kits is that you could be putting your life at risk by removing something potentially life-threatening that would have normally been analyzed at the lab. "If someone comes to see me when they've already removed the mole, they've essentially disposed of the evidence," dermatologist Dr. Manu Mehra told the Daily Mail. "There's absolutely no way of telling whether the mole was dangerous or benign. In a worst-case scenario, it is possible that a cancer could metastasize, creating a terminal secondary tumor that could have been avoided if the initial cancer had been identified and treated," he added. Of course, the labeling on these products will recommend that you see a doctor if you find a suspicious-looking mole, but tell me what you think. Do you have any experience with these DIY treatments? Would you ever give them a try, or do the risks far outweigh the temptation to remove them yourself?

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