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Florida dermatologist urges people to stop removing their own moles while in quarantine

Coronavirus

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

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

“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 Forman.  

He said 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. 

Home mole or skin tag removal also could potentially prevent a doctor from detecting underlying issues such as 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.” 

Some dermatologists, including Forman, are offering virtual appointments. However, Forman is taking the necessary precautions to see patients for in-person visits.  

“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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