FDA: Mole Removal Products May Cause Harm

Health officials warn about products marketed for mole and skin lesion removal

(RxWiki News) Products marketed for the removal of moles and other skin lesions can cause injuries and scarring, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Although plenty of these products are available over the counter on store shelves and online, none of them are approved by the FDA to treat moles, skin tags or seborrheic keratoses.

Some of the products being sold for these purposes can be dangerous, the FDA said. These products are often in the form of ointments, gels, liquids and sticks, and they may contain high concentrations of potentially harmful ingredients like salicylic acid.

"The FDA is advising consumers to avoid these products because of their potentially harmful side effects and serious risks," the agency said in a press communication. "These risks include skin injuries, infection requiring antibiotics, scarring, and delayed skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. In fact, the FDA has received reports about people who developed permanent skin injuries and infections after using products marketed as mole or skin tag removers."

Although the FDA advised against using these over-the-counter (OTC) products, it did not recommend ignoring any changes in a mole or other skin lesion. In fact, any noticeable change in your moles warrants immediate medical attention to rule out serious health problems like skin cancer.

The FDA pointed out that the available OTC products often do not remove the entire mole, and even when they do, they can leave permanent scarring or skin discoloration at the affected area.

"In some cases, the end result may be more distressing and noticeable than the original lesion, especially if you apply the product to your face," the FDA noted.

If you notice any change in your skin, reach out to your health care provider immediately.

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Review Date: 
June 21, 2022