Mole warts, also known as skin tags or acrochordons, are small, benign growths that appear on areas of the body on the skin where skin rubs against skin, jewelry, or clothes. They also appear on areas with skin folds such as the eyelids and armpits.
They are usually harmless and trouble-free, as long as they are not tampered with. However, if touched, rubbed, or scratched, they can cause discomfort, irritation, pain, and even bleeding. They may also cause cosmetic issues such as embarrassment and self-consciousness, especially if they are located in visible areas.
What Causes Mole Warts
There is no definitive or exact cause of mole warts. While their appearances are not fully understood, they are believed to be caused by a combination of different factors such as hormonal changes, genetics, and friction.
A skin-to-skin rub can lead to the formation of a skin tag, which can cause more warts. Other frictional irritations that can cause mole warts include when the skin rubs against clothing, jewelry, or any other item or part of the body.
They are also more common in people who are overweight or have folds of skin, as these areas are more prone to friction. Individuals with hormonal imbalances such as pregnant women may experience mole warts too.
It is important to know that mole warts are not contagious and do not spread from person to person, but they can appear in clusters or in multiple locations on the patient’s body.
Types of Mole Warts
There are different types of mole warts, each of which appears with unique characteristics. Some of the most common types include;
Filiform mole warts – Patients would mostly experience filiform mole warts on the face, neck, and around the eyes. They often appear to be long and thin and may resemble a hanging thread.
Soft mole warts – Soft mole warts mostly appear in the groin, armpits, under the breasts, and other places where the skin tends to fold. Like the name hints, they are soft to the touch and may have a fleshy feel.
Hard mole warts – These mole warts are typically found around the nails, on the hands, and feet. They usually appear to be firmer and more fibrous than soft mole warts.
Pigmented mole warts – Pigmented mole warts can occur on any part of the body. As the name suggests, they appear darker than the surrounding area and maybe light brown to almost black in color.
Irritated mole warts – These mole warts are characterized by being easily irritated by rubbing and/ or scratching, and can become inflamed, red, and painful.
Mole warts are mostly harmless and nothing to worry about. However, patients are free to remove them if they are causing physical limitations, or even restricting some functions of the body, or if they pose some kind of health threat, such as pain, inflammation, and discomfort.
Some mole warts keep changing and may resemble skin growths like skin cancer. It is important to work with a reputable clinic like The Esthetic Clinics to determine the type of mole wart an individual has and the best next course of action to take.
Importance of Treating Mole Warts
Most mole warts are benign and harmless. However, there are several reasons why patients may still want to work with a mole wart removal clinic for treatment. Some of these reasons are;
Discomfort: Treating mole warts can help alleviate symptoms such as irritation and discomfort caused by mole warts which are especially located in areas where skin rubs against the skin like under the breasts or in the armpits, or where skin rubs against clothes.
Cosmetic concerns: Mole warts located in the face, neck, and other visible areas may be unsightly or embarrassing. Treating them can help improve their appearance and boost their self-confidence.
Bleeding: When scratched or rubbed by accident (or voluntarily), mole warts can bleed or catch an infection. Treating them can help prevent these complications
Rule out cancer: Some mole warts are benign and harmless. However, others may resemble growths that cause skin cancer, which may raise false alarms and health concerns. Treating the mole wart can help confirm a benign diagnosis and rule out the possibility of having skin cancer.
Mole wart removal is not a procedure that is always necessary. However, treatments can provide relief from discomfort, improve overall appearance, and help ensure an accurate diagnosis. It’s important to consult with an experienced professional to determine the best course of treatment based on individual concerns.
Symptoms of Mole Warts
While mole warts do not show any serious or severe symptoms, they may sometimes cause discomfort, especially when they are irritated. Some symptoms that may be associated with mole warts include;
Appearance: This is probably the most significant symptom of mole warts. While they may be harmless and silent as long as they are not provoked, they are openly visible. Mole warts appear to be small, usually flesh-colored or slightly darker, and often have a stalk-like base. They can be in different sizes, ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters in diameter.
Texture: Depending on the type of mole warts, they can be smooth or rough to the touch and may have a soft, firm, or fibrous texture.
Location: Mole warts can appear anywhere on the body. However, some types of mole warts may be commonly found in certain parts of the body. Generally, patients find them where the skin folds or rubs against the skin like the armpits or under the breast.
Sensations: Usually, mole warts do not cause any pain. However, if they are rubbed or scratched, they may become irritated and itchy.
Changes: Some mole warts may change their size, color, or shape over time. Mostly, the changes are benign. However, any new or changing mole wart should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out the possibility of serious skin diseases such as skin cancer.
Diagnosis of Mole Warts
The diagnosis of mole warts typically involves a physical examination by a healthcare professional. During the exam, the healthcare provider will look for any visible signs of mole warts on different parts of the body.
Some factors that the doctor would examine include appearance, location, and any other potentially associated symptoms. They may also ask the patients some questions about the mole warts such as when they first appeared and whether they have changed the color, shapes, sizes, or locations.
In some cases, a biopsy may be needed. This involves the practitioner removing a small sample of the mole wart for further examination and analysis at the lab. A biopsy may be done if there is a concern that the mole wart may be cancerous or if it is causing major discomfort and bleeding.
Who is a Good Candidate for Mole Wart Removal
Mole wart removal may be considered for individuals whose mole warts are causing discomfort, pain, and other cosmetic concerns.
Some factors that may make someone a good candidate for mole wart removal are:
Symptoms: If the mole warts are making it difficult for one to live their normal life and perform their daily activities, removal may be necessary. This may be difficulties in walking, wearing shoes, pain, and discomfort.
Cosmetic concerns: Mole warts that are located in places where they are visible may cause a cosmetic concern. For example, people with mole warts on the forehead or the cheeks may be embarrassed or self-conscious, and removal may be desired.
Persistent or recurring warts: If the mole warts keep coming back even after treatments, removal may be needed to prevent further recurrence of warts and to reduce the risk of any potential complications.
Medical conditions: Individuals with HIV/ AIDS, those undergoing chemotherapy, or those whose immune systems have been compromised and weakened by medical conditions may be more prone to developing severe and persistent mole warts. Removing them may be beneficial.
Patient preference: Ultimately, the decision to remove mole warts should be based on a patient’s preferences. The doctor would evaluate the severity of the symptoms and the specific concerns to determine the most appropriate removal procedure.
It is worth noting that some mole warts don’t need to be removed as they disappear on their own over time. If removal is needed, patients should work closely with a cosmetologist like Dr. Rinky Kapoor who is well-experienced and certified and can recommend the best treatment.
Mole Warts Treatment Options
The Esthetic Clinics offer various treatments for mole wart removal, depending on the size, location, and type of the mole wart.
Here are some of the most common treatments:
Cryotherapy: In this procedure, the mole wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen, for it to blister and finally fall off. The treatment itself is relatively quick and painless, and patients may need multiple sessions for a complete removal.
Curettage and electrodesiccation: The practitioner uses a sharp medical instrument (curettage) to scrap off the mole wart in this procedure. He/ she then cauterize the area (electrodesiccation) using an electric current. Patients typically undergo this procedure under local anesthesia and may take a couple of days to heal.
Topical medications: Medications such as salicylic acid or imiquimod can be used to treat mole warts. These can be prescribed by doctors or obtained as over-the-counter medication. They are easy to use and patients only need to apply them directly to the mole wart to help dissolve or kill the cells.
Laser therapy: As the name suggests, the practitioner uses a laser to destroy the mole warts. Since this may be an extreme treatment, it is usually used to treat larger or more difficult-to-treat mole warts. Patients may also need to undergo multiple treatments to get the desired results. Excision: In this treatment, the mole wart is cut out with a scalpel. Excision is typically reserved for larger or more aggressive mole warts and may require stitches, and a longer time to heal.
While The Esthetic Clinics offers multiple treatment for mole wart removal, the choice of treatment will depend on different factors such as the size, location, and type of mole wart, and the individual’s overall health and medical history.
Potential Side Effects of Mole Wart Treatments
Most mole wart treatments are generally safe and effective. However, like any other cosmetic or medical procedure, there are some potential risks and complications patients may experience during and after the treatments.
Some of them include;
Pain: Pain is a complication that many patients are likely to experience during a mole wart removal treatment. Treatments such as cryotherapy or curettage and electrodesiccation can cause discomfort and/ or pain during and/ or after the procedure.
Scarring: Mole wart removal procedures like excision and curettage and electrodesiccation that involve cutting or scraping the skin are likely to leave scars.
Infection: The skin is the outer most layer part of the body that is supposed to protect other body parts and organs. If it is tampered with, there is most likely to be a risk of infections. Some signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, pus, or fever.
Bleeding: There is a risk of bleeding during and/ or after mole wart removal procedures, especially if they are large or located in areas with a lot of blood vessels.
Recurrence: Not all mole warts can be completely eliminated. There is still a risk of mole warts growing back even after treatment. This mostly happens if the entire wart was not completely removed or if the virus that causes the wart is still present on the skin.
Damage to surrounding tissue: Some mole wart removal procedures don’t just focus on the affected area. For example in the case of laser therapy or curettage and electrodesiccation, if not done properly, the surrounding tissues can be damaged.
It is important for patients to discuss potential complications and risks with their healthcare professional before undergoing any procedures. Dr. Rinky Kapoor can help assess an individual’s specific risk factors and provide guidance on how to minimize the risks of complications.
How Long Does it Take for Mole Warts to go Away
There is no set period of time for mole wart treatment to take effect. Different treatments provide different results and heal in different durations. Some factors that makes this difference include the type of wart, the location of the wart, and the individual’s immune system.
Generally, although it may take a couple of months or even years, most mole warts eventually go away.
Here are some general estimates of how long it may take for different types of mole warts to go disappear;
Common warts: Common warts may take a couple of months to a couple of years to away on their own.
Plantar warts: Plantar warts, which are most common on the soles of the feet, are more stubborn and may take up to two years to disappear.
Flat warts: Flat warts are smaller in size and smoother to touch compared to other types of warts. They can take several months to a year to vanish.
Tips to Prevent Mole Warts
The exact cause of mole warts is not known. However, it is believed that they are caused by a combination of different factors. As such, there is no sure way to prevent mole warts. However, there are some steps and precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of mole warts.
These precautions include;
Practice good hygiene: Mole warts can be caused by a combination of environmental factors. This means washing hands regularly with soap and lots of water, especially after touching a mole wart or a surface that may be contaminated with viruses is important.
Avoid touching mole warts: Touching or picking at mole warts can spread the virus to other parts of the body or to other people.
Use protection: Using condoms during sexual activities can help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading HPV.
Wear shoes in public places: Wearing shoes or flip flops in areas such as showers, locker rooms, and pool decks can help reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
Avoid sharing personal items: Personal items such as towels, razors, or clothing are never to be shared with other people as it may spread the virus.
Boost the immune system: A strong immune system helps the body stay healthy and fight off diseases-causing bacteria, infections, and pathogens. Regular exercises, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting adequate sleep are some ways to build and maintain a strong immunity, and help reduce the risk of developing mole warts.
Following these tips may not completely eliminate the risk of developing mole warts, but they can help reduce the risk of infections and transmission. A patient should immediately seek help from a mole wart removal clinic if a mole wart does develop.
Early detection and treatment of mole warts can help prevent the spread of the virus to others and reduce the risk of complications.
Mole wart removal Treatment Before & After Photos –