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Remove moles yourself: Doctors warn against self-treatment

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Remove moles yourself: Doctors warn against self-treatment

Don’t trust advertising

A disturbing skin spot, a bulging birthmark – many people don’t want to accept that their skin isn’t flawless. The supposed remedy can be found on the Internet: Electric pens cost less than 30 euros and their suppliers promise on various trading platforms that they can make moles and freckles disappear quickly and easily.

But no one should trust the products and advertising promises. In the specialist magazine Dermatology, doctors strongly warn against using appropriate pens.

Skin cancer may go undetected

How exactly the pens work is often not clear from the product descriptions and operating instructions on the Internet. Apparently they injure the skin superficially, as a result of which crusts, painful inflammation and unsightly scars can form. The greatest danger, however, is that self-treatment means that changes such as black or white skin cancer and its precursors remain undetected and are subsequently treated too late or not at all.

Have skin changes checked by a professional

Birthmarks and other skin abnormalities should be checked by a doctor – especially if they change shape and color, burn, itch or even bleed. Only the dermatologist can then decide how further treatment should proceed. If a birthmark is removed solely for cosmetic reasons, health insurance companies usually do not cover the costs.

Tipp: Appointments with dermatologists are often difficult to find. Skin screening apps are intended to be an alternative: those who use them can upload photos of skin areas, for example to distinguish benign skin changes from malignant ones. We tested 17 such apps. They cannot replace a visit to the doctor, but some can at least provide a quick, initial assessment.

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