Atypical Is Kind of Typical

About 10 percent of Americans have an atypical mole, but that doesn't mean that all atypical moles are cancerous or that they need to be removed. Some atypical moles are just that -- atypical and nothing more. But if you have one, you should have it looked at by a dermatologist [source: AOCD].

Does Mole-removal Cream Work?

If the idea of needles and scalpels is more than you can handle, you could try a mole-removal cream. There are quite a few creams on the market that claim to remove moles. However, they don't usually work [source: Gibson].

It's easy to see why people are tempted to try mole removal creams: They offer a cheaper, surgery-free way to get rid of moles. But if you're not careful with these creams, you could end up with a scar or a skin infection. Most mole removal creams require you to scratch the surface of your mole before application. The cream then enters your body through the open sore and basically burns the skin and creates a scab underneath the mole. In theory, the scab will eventually fall off and take the mole with it [source: Coleman].

Sometimes mole-removal creams work, but they often remove more than just the mole. These creams can leave pits in your skin where the mole used to be, or they can cause scarring that's more noticeable than the mole itself. They can also make your skin more susceptible to infection, and by removing a mole yourself, you could miss the early warning signs of cancer [source: Coleman].

Keep reading to learn how much surgical mole-removal treatments cost.