A mole is a dark spot on the skin that can exist just below the skin or on top of the skin. While they often occur at birth, some develop later in life. Surgery and laser removal are two methods to remove moles from the skin; however, a less invasive treatment involves using glycolic acid. Moles that are the result of hyper-pigmentation can be diminished or removed with as few as five applications of glycolic acid. Although this treatment can be performed at home, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons advises that you schedule regular skin examinations to assess and diagnose neoplasms that could be linked to the mole.
Combine 3.4 ounces of water and 3.4 ounces of glycolic acid in a bowl and stir until blended. Glycolic acid can be too harsh on the skin, which can lead to mild burns or skin inflammation. Dermatologists recommend diluting the acid in water to decrease the chance for skin irritation.
Apply the mixture to the moles or hyperpigmented areas of your face.
Place the cotton pads over the moles and bandage. Covering the treated area allows the glycolic acid to penetrate the skin.
Allow the skin to remain covered for at least eight hours before removing the cotton bandages.
Repeat this procedure as needed for up to five days, until your moles or hyperpigmentation are less noticeable or disappear.
If your moles or hyperpigmentation do not respond to the treatment after five days, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests seeking the advice of a licensed skin care professional for alternative treatment options.
Glycolic acid can leave the skin susceptible to sun damage and skin irritation. For this reason, dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen or moisturizer with a SPF 15 following a glycolic peel. If you have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to sunburn, a sunscreen or moisturizer with an SPF of 20 or 25, according to the American Melanoma Foundation.