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FDA Warns Against At-Home Skin Tag and Mole Removal

by Dr. Michael McKelvey


One of the most common things we hear in practice is “Getting older stinks! I’m growing things everywhere!” While aging can bring wisdom, it can also bring unwanted growths.

Seborrheic keratosis (wart like lesions), new moles, and skin tags are amongst the most common growths we see in adults. For many people, these growths are embarrassing, and our patients often tell us they’re considering purchasing at-home skin tag removal or at-home mole removal kits to deal with them.


Removing Moles and Skin Tags at Home is Not Safe

Currently, there is no FDA-approved product to remove these lesions. That doesn’t change the fact that a quick stroll down the Walmart or CVS pharmacy aisles will reveal potentially dangerous products being sold that claim to help remove these lesions. These growth-removal products are sold in ointments, gels, and patches containing high concentrations of salicylic acid or other harmful chemicals.


On August 4th, 2022, the FDA issued a warning to companies such as Amazon, Ariella Naturals, and Justified Laboratories for introducing mole and skin tag removal products. These products have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety or effectiveness and are a direct violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.


FDA Warns About Safety of At-Home Products


The FDA is advising consumers to avoid these products because of their potential harm. Serious side effects include skin injuries, infection, scarring, and delayed detection of skin cancer. There have been numerous reports of consumers with permanent scars and infections after use of some of these products.


How to Remove Skin Tags and Growths Safely


What do you do if you want these skin lesions removed? See your dermatologist!! Most moles, skin tags, and seborrheic keratosis are not a health concern, however certain lesions can look harmless and in turn be Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. If what you think is a skin tag, seborrheic keratosis, mole, or any other lesion is growing, changing, bleeding, or painful, you should make an appointment with your dermatologist. Do not try and treat yourself. This can alter the appearance of the lesion, making diagnosis more difficult, or potentially prolonging the detection of skin cancer.

A product claiming to be “natural” or “organic” does not mean it can not be harmful. The high concentrations of salicylic acid or other chemicals can lead to serious complications.

Stay safe and let the experts treat any concerns you find on your skin. Call our office for an appointment or book online today!