TCA 50% to remove moles
Today I tackled a skin issue that’s been plaguing me for several years: I have a small mole on my nose, and while it’s light in pigment, it still bothers me. My dermatologist used a laser once, and it scabbed and fell off, but it came back within about two years. Unfortunately, the before picture was too blurry, but I found this one that I'd taken awhile back for retin-a, so disregard the peeling:
Recently I read an article on a dermatologist's website about using TCA to remove moles and warts, so I mixed a batch of 50% TCA and used a very small plastic tool and applied a single drop to the mole. The after picture shows the frosting, and oddly enough, it immediately seemed smaller than before:
Before I applied the 50% solution to the mole on my nose, I applied it to a mole on my arm—just to gage my skin’s reaction. It frosted within a minute, and interestingly, it didn’t hurt at all. When I applied it to the mole on my nose, that didn’t hurt either. I thought that perhaps the strength was so high that my body produced endorphins quickly enough to block the pain. I was wrong!
I decided to use the remaining 50% TCA solution on my arms. I had toyed with the idea of diluting it to 25% but decided against it since my moles reacted so well…bad decision. This is buffered TCA, so 50% isn’t as strong as a non- buffered 50% (but still very strong); nonetheless, my arms felt like they were on fire. No endorphins here. I concluded that the moles must lack some nerve endings or nociceptors (pain receptors).
Here’s a picture of my left arm before applying the solution.
Within about 1 minute, my arms started to frost and sting like crazy, so I neutralized and ran cold water on them for a few minutes. They are still tender, but I should get a good peel, and it’s not like I have to worry about anyone seeing them—since we’re in the dead of winter. Here's the arm after (ouch):
I wouldn’t suggest using 50% TCA on any part of the body unless you are working with a license professional or are fully aware of how your body reacts to TCA at high strengths--and different parts of your body will react differently, as I already knew, but had a painful reminder of today. I probably shouldn't have used it on my arms, but I did, and I'll let you know how the process turns out...