Lightening a dark skin mole requires the right preparation and the right treatment. Mayo Clinic staff dermatologists warn that darkly pigmented moles may be cancerous melanomas. Preparation includes showing your doctor any mole you want to lighten or remove with a home remedy. Bleaching a mole can be done in many ways. Laundry bleach is not one of them, but herbs, common fruits and vegetables and over-the-counter medicines are often reported to work well.
Many home remedies recognize dark skin moles, pigmented warts, age spots and liver spots as similar. Remedies commonly used for one are also applied to the others, interchangeably. Gotu kola, an ancient Chinese herb, is frequently mentioned by home remedy practitioners. A small amount of the powdered herb is mixed with just enough herbal tea such as ginseng to make a stiff paste. Ginseng has a long history as a curative agent in traditional Chinese medicine. Some home remedy practitioners also recommend adding a pinch of cayenne to this mixture. A dab of the gotu kola paste is applied to a mole and sealed in place with a bandage for up to an hour, morning and evening. Results may take weeks to months.
The ascorbic acid in citrus juices like lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit is said to help to erode or exfoliate the darkly pigmented skin layer of skin moles. They add the benefit of vitamins and nutrients said to nourish and help heal the skin. Some home remedy experts say pineapple is also effective in this way, with the additional benefit of a compound called bromelain, an enzyme said to aid in removal of darkly pigmented skin in a mole.
From Your Kitchen
Onion juice mixed with apple cider vinegar can be applied directly to moles. Freshly pressed onion juice is blended with an equal volume of vinegar and dabbed onto darkly pigmented moles. After 30 minutes, or as long as overnight according to some home remedy specialists, this is rinsed off and treated with a skin moisturizer if irritation is noted. After six weeks improvement is expected, though longer may be needed. Buttermilk, due to the exfoliating effect of its lactic acid content, is also said to be beneficial in mole and dark spot treatments.
Castor oil, sometimes mixed with enough baking soda or ground aspirin to make a stiff paste, is said to lighten dark moles and skin spots. After one month of twice daily, morning and evening, applications, moles are said to lighten or disappear.
Home remedies are the product of years, even centuries, of trial, error and tradition in many different cultures. As a result, many remedies are similar but few are identical. Scientific proof of efficacy is almost always lacking. As noted by specialists at the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, home remedies also rely on self-diagnosis which can be dangerous, especially in light of the possibility that darkly pigmented moles and discolored skin spots may be various forms of cancer. Never rely on self-diagnosis and home remedies without showing your doctor the lesions you want to treat.
Walt Pickut has published peer-reviewed medical research since 1971. Pickut teaches presentational speaking and holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors and is editor for "The Jamestown Gazette." Pickut holds bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and master's degrees in physiology and mass communication.