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Apple Cider Vinegar Mole Removal: How To Remove A Mole With ACV 2024
Otherwise known as nevi, moles are among the most recognizable skin growths. They’re typically small and round spots with a brownish shade. If you’ve had a mole in the past (or have one), you understand how unattractive they are. They’re mostly painless and rarely lead to any health complications.
If you’re curious to learn what apple cider vinegar is and how some try to use it to remove ugly moles, we have all that and more in this post.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Remove Moles?
You’re probably wondering, “is apple cider vinegar mole removal safe?” ACV is widely used as a modern home remedy to remove flat and raised moles. It is believed that the three acids in ACV — tartaric, malic, and acetic — are effective enough to burn the mole and clear it off completely from the facial skin surface. Nevertheless, this is not recommended, as explained below.
Apple cider vinegar is produced by fermenting apple juice in bacteria and yeast to form acetic acid that later becomes vinegar. Research shows that apple cider vinegar contains several antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that help to promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce cholesterol, among other benefits.
ACV is a common ingredient in most foods. It is used as an additive in a variety of products and also in salad dressings to preserve freshness.
There are plenty of reasons people use apple cider vinegar for mole removal. For one, it’s one of the most straightforward natural treatments that you can carry out in the comfort of your home. It’s also a pain-free procedure for most people, cost-efficient, and leaves little to no scarring. Caution: the perks may not be worth the risk.
How To Remove A Mole With Apple Cider Vinegar
We stand by the sound advice that you should not do this. We offer this information only for the sake of completeness since this is an article on ACV. You’ll see why it’s a bad idea to mess with moles further down.
Needed are earbuds/Q-tips, a nail file, cotton ball, spot plasters, and healing cream. The removal process then begins, following four steps:
- Use the nail file to file the mole.
- Protect the area around the mole.
- Apply the cider vinegar.
- Replace the cotton every day.
Step 1: Use The Nail File To File The Mole
A nail file can gently file the flat mole. This makes it easier for the ACV to take effect. This might be because the mole’s surface has been scratched, enabling the ACV to penetrate the mole better. Some even opt to stab the flesh-colored mole rather than filing it, which can lead to serious issues.
Step 2: Protect The Area Around The Mole
A Q-tip or earbud can be used to apply a protective barrier around the mole to protect the skin around it. A diaper rash cream, natural healing cream, castor oil, and coconut oil are thick and natural oils that can block other skin areas from the ACV. Any water-insoluble, non-irritating substance, e.g., Vaseline, will do this.
Step 3: Apply The Cider Vinegar
The next step is applying ACV directly to the mole using a cotton swab covered with medical tape or an adhesive bandage. The ACV is used sparingly to prevent it from coming into contact with healthy skin. Any section of the skin around it that touches the vinegar should be rinsed thoroughly with water.
Step 4: Replace The Cotton Every Day
The same procedure is repeated every 24 hours, replacing the piece of cotton. It is repeated daily until the desired results are achieved.
It may take up to five to ten days before a mole permanently dries up and comes off. Keep in mind that not all moles respond similarly to ACV treatment. Any mole might change texture/color, assume the appearance of a scab, or even return.
Before destroying moles beyond recognition, you should have your healthcare provider make sure it doesn’t look suspicious. A person without medical expertise is not qualified to blow off a mole as harmless, and altering it with ACV could put you in danger.
Generally, we advise that you practice caution before using apple cider vinegar on your mole. If one were to do it, once the mole peels off, the underlying skin would either be pinkish or lighter in color. This is an inflammatory reaction that is part of the healing process. A gentle moisturizer on this area for the next one or two weeks will improve the look. Within that time, the new skin should not be exposed to harsh sunlight for some time, as this can cause a pinpoint area of severe sunburn.
Take Note: Studies performed on apple cider vinegar indicate there is no guarantee that this mole removal method will be successful or even safe. In fact, most professionals do not regard apple cider vinegar mole removal as an authentic home remedy. In the study, a teenage girl used apple cider vinegar on her mole for three days. While the vinegar got rid of the mole a few days later, it also removed the uppermost skin layer of the affected area.
An alternative report follows the case of a boy who suffered a chemical burn after he applied a cotton ball dipped in ACV on the skin around his knee.
Risks Of Using Home Mole Removal Remedies
According to the American Cancer Society, you need to visit a qualified dermatologist to check for moles or any sign of skin cancer. You should have your mole professionally removed rather than attempting to destroy it yourself at home with the apple cider vinegar treatment.
Yet, the temptation to avoid a trip to the doctor is strong, and do-it-yourself mole removal continues. Among the most popular natural remedies are:
- Using iodine or ACVr to burn the mole.
- Using garlic to treat the mole.
- Using a razor or pair of scissors to cut the mole.
- Applying over-the-counter mole removal creams.
Doing any of the above may lead to any of the following consequences:
- Risk of scars or burns: The skin discoloration or severe post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is typically permanent.
- Risk of infections: In addition to scarring, you risk developing an infection from using sharp objects to remove the mole. Even tetanus is possible if you aren’t up to date on immunizations.
- Risk of masking cancer: You may not know it, but your mole might be a sign of skin cancer. Don’t risk altering its appearance, which will delay the diagnosis of cancer by using home remedies carelessly.
Most people who’ve tried the apple cider vinegar method have reported that it’s more or less painless. Some may experience a little discomfort, but for a short time. Despite this, it’s worth noting that there’s little to no evidence supporting the effectiveness of using apple cider vinegar to remove skin tags. There are also risks involved in using ACV.
If your mole is not changing its shape, size, or color, we strongly suggest that you leave it as it is. On the other hand, if your mole bothers you cosmetically or is changing, don’t think twice about booking an appointment with your dermatologist. Most moles that change could signify melanoma or another type of malignancy.
Melanoma can be cured if your flesh-colored mole is checked early enough, preventing it from spreading to other body parts. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that melanoma is the leading cause of more than 9,000 annual deaths in the United States, and most of them start out as something you’re tempted to remove at home. Beware! It’s a terrible idea.
+ 4 sources
Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here
- Feldstein, S., Afshar, M. and Krakowski, A.C. (2015). Chemical Burn from Vinegar Following an Internet-based Protocol for Self-removal of Nevi. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, [online] 8(6), p.50. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4479370/
- Bunick, C.G., Lott, J.P., Warren, C.B., Galan, A., Bolognia, J. and King, B.A. (2012). Chemical burn from topical apple cider vinegar. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, [online] 67(4), pp.e143–e144. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.934.
- Cancer.org. (2019). How to Do a Skin Self-Exam. [online] Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/be-safe-in-sun/skin-exams.html
- The Skin Cancer Foundation. (2023). Melanoma. [online] Available at: https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/