‘They are using small home scissors and knives’: Dermatologist urges people to stop removing their moles while in quarantine

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A local dermatologist is noticing a new and unsettling trend, people are removing their own moles and skin tags while quarantined at home.  

Tampa dermatologist, Dr. Seth Forman with ForCare Medical Center, explains that some people are playing ‘at home dermatologist’ by using knives, scissors, toenail clippers and even dental floss as a way to remove moles.  

Why you should leave mole removal to a professional: 

“People are playing dermatologist at home and removing moles, skin tags and other growths on their skin that they don’t like and just throwing them away,” said Dr. Forman.  

Forman tells WFLA.com there are two very important aspects as to why removing growths on your skin can be dangerous and even deadly.  

“People can not stop bleeding as effectively as we can here in a medical practice. You can’t prevent infection as well as we can in a medical practice,” Forman said. 

Testing for skin cancer: 

Forman says not only is home mole or skin tag removal dangerous but it could potentially prevent a doctor from detecting underlying issues like skin cancer.  

“Sometimes it can be difficult for a dermatologist to appreciate whether or not a mole is benign or cancer,” said Forman. “We will have no trace of it until it’s possibly too late if you remove an early one off of your skin while you’re in quarantine.” 

What you should do instead: 

Currently, several dermatologists, including Dr. Forman, are offering virtual appointments, however, Forman told WFLA.com he is taking the necessary steps to see patients for in-person visits.  

“ForCare Medical Center is open for our patients, we are not abandoning our patients. I don’t want to say we aren’t afraid but we are appropriately fearful and taking all the recommended precautions that have been recommended by the CDC, our state government and local authorities. We are taking temperatures when people come in. We are all wearing N95 masks to protect our patients and protect ourselves,” said Forman. “If you feel like you have some type of medical problem, please seek out the care of that physician in that specialty and don’t take things into your own hands.” 

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