Several people have had to pay a heavy price for removing their moles using “detergents” or having them removed at beauty shops that apply unsafe mole removal methods.
As for people who want to remove a skin mole by themselves, it is not difficult for them to buy a jar of “mole removing ointment” from a cosmetic shop. It is cheap, at only VND10,000-20,000 (US$0.98) per 5 ml jar.
People can also use mole removal services at beauty salons or hairdressers for only VND10,000-50,000 per mole.
At a fashion hairdressing shop om Nguyen An Ninh Street, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi, the shop’s owner showed Tuoi Tre reporters a jar containing a transparent solution that she called a mole detergent.
When asked about how to use the drug, she said the it was very simple: you apply a very small amount of the drug on a small mole that needs to be removed.
As for large moles, use needles to prick around the mole before applying the detergent on it, the woman said.
Many people have fallen victim to such detergents and removal methods.
One of them was Nguyen Tan Sy, 49, of southern Tay Ninh province, who has suffered terrible side effects after using a harmful detergent to remove moles.
He lost both eyes, his entire nose, his cheeks and the upper jaw after having a large mole on his face, near the right eye and the bridge of the nose.
A wound where the nose was still oozes with blood.
In 2002, when a friend suggested that he have the mole removed, Sy went to a barber-shop for the procedure.
The barber applied an unknown substance on the mole and then used a tool to remove it.
The wound caused by the removal did not heal, instead it ulcerated and spread to other areas on his face and caused terrible damage and deformities.
Two years ago, when the nose and surrounding areas got necrosis, Sy went to the Tay Ninh General Hospital for examination.
As the necrosis was serious and spread rapidly, doctors referred Sy to the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital for treatment.
After hearing that the cost for treatment was up toVND40 million, Sy did not receive treatment, leaving the wound to worsen, devastating most of his face.
Dr. Vu Quang Vinh, from the Plastic Surgery Department of the National Burn Institute, said “detergents for mole removal” on the market are actually acids.
In skin care cosmetics or other beauty products, diluted acid is included in their ingredients at a certain proportion. Such acid will slightly erode the outer layer of the skin, making it whiter and smoother, Vinh said.
Similarly, acid in mole-removing substances can remove small moles. However, as for large ones, many people used needles to prick around them before applying the detergent, since this helps the substance penetrate deep under the mole and make the removal easier.
This is very harmful since it can cause infection and bring the acid into contact with layers under the skin, causing more damage to issues, Vinh said.
Dr. Tran Van Tien, deputy director of Central Dermatology Hospital, said most moles on the human body are benign and not harmful, but there are also some moles that are malignant, or melanin cancerous tumors.
When such tumors are impacted by mole removal methods, they will develop rapidly, invade surrounding areas, and metastasis to other organ of the body.
Caution should be paid to moles that are rough, have non-identical colors, have jagged edges, or cause itching, since such moles may be melanin tumors, Tien warned.
However, confirmation regarding malignant moles must be made through concrete tests or surgery, he added.
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