Gross Anatomy: Moles to Excessive Sweating

The Doctors Confessional

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Brittany is self-conscious about the moles that cover her body. "They are so disgusting," she says. "They are everywhere and just nasty, ugly and unattractive. I want to get rid of them."

Moles are clusters of pigmented cells found on the skin that often vary in appearance throughout the years.

Brittany has been burning her moles with apple cider vinegar in an effort to remove them herself. 

She rubs petroleum jelly around the growth, soaks a cotton ball in the vinegar, puts the cotton ball on top of the mole and holds it in place overnight with a bandage. She asks The Doctors if her mole removal remedy is safe and effective.

Green Cleaning

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"What she's doing with apple cider vinegar — it contains acetic acid — it's similar to treatments that we can do to remove your warts at home," plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. "She's done a chemical exfoliation, a chemical removal using acetic acid, of her moles. What it will do is it will flatten them out, burn the base and they crust up."

Though Brittany's at-home remedy may work in some fashion, Dr. Ordon cautions that a professional should check whether Brittany's moles reflect cancerous changes.

Most moles, freckles and beauty spots on the skin are normal and harmless. However, over time they can change and become malignant, or cancerous, so it is important to stay vigilant about your skin's health. While most changes are harmless, some may indicate that the mole is/has become a malignant melanoma, a life-threatening cancer. Early detection is the key to surviving any cancer, and skin cancer is no exception.

Get to know your skin, examine yourself once a month, and make sure to see a board-certified dermatologist once a year. 

The ABCDE Warning Signs of Melanoma:
See your doctor if you notice any of the following:

Asymmetry — A mole should be symmetrical. If you draw a line down your mole, and one side is larger than the other, see your doctor.

Border  A mole should be even and smooth. If the borders are uneven, scalloped or notched, see your doctor.

Corn Removal

Corns on the feet can be uncomfortable and downright painful. See a five-minute procedure that eradicates the toe deformity for good!

Color  A mole should be one color. If your mole is variegated, or if there are various shades of brown, tan, black or red in the mole, see your doctor. 

Diameter  Technically, moles can be varying sizes, but if your mole is bigger than an eraser point on a pencil, see your doctor. 

Evolving  If your mole starts to change size, color or elevation, see your doctor. Download a body mole map to learn how to track your moles, and find free skin cancer screenings near you. 

Excessive Sweating "Down There"

Eva Marie, 45, wants to know why she sweats excessively in her groin area and how she can prevent it.

Gross Eats

• Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains why kids pick their noses, and whether eating what they find is harmful or actually healthy.

• Mike has experimented with urine therapy. Find out what it is and if it works.

The condition, known as hyperhidrosis, can occur anywhere on the body. For women, excessive sweating in the groin can increase the risk of yeast infections.   

"What you need to do is talk your doctor about it to find out what's causing it," OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. "It could be something like an endocrine disorder, which could be your thyroid, or it could be a hormone imbalance or a pituitary imbalance. You need to go through all that to make sure there's not some other, better way to treat it." 

A common treatment for hyperhidrosis is an aluminum chloride solution that can be applied to block the glands. 

Other treatments for excessive sweating include medications, Botox injections and a Vasar procedure that eradicates the sweat glands. 

Bugging Out

Does the thought of bugs on your body make your skin crawl? Learn the surprising places they live and where they come from!  

In the Ear


See a cockroach being removed from a child's ear and learn what to do if one finds its way into yours.

On Eyelashes


Mites can burrow into eyelashes. Learn the home remedies to combat irritation they can cause.