Sarah Gaudszun, 31, who works in advertising in London, was left embarrassed and angry after she tried to have her facial moles removed by a rogue beautician two years ago.
“I’d wanted to get my moles off for years. I was always self-conscious about them, especially the big, dark one on my cheek. In the springtime in London in 2017, it felt like a good time to do it,” she said.
“I did a bit of research and it seemed like I had to pay for moles to be removed for aesthetic reasons. The possibility of them being cancerous didn’t even cross my mind. Lasering was a lot more expensive so I decided to go with cryotherapy.”
Many beauticians advertised mole removal on Groupon and Gaudszun opted for the cheapest option, a clinic that offered the removal of multiple moles with cryotherapy for £100 in one session. “It seemed like a good deal. On the website, it said I would be treated by a qualified dermatologist – a doctor – so I booked an appointment.
“When I turned up I did think it seemed a bit strange that it was a house and not a salon. But the beautician was very friendly and reassured me. She made me feel comfortable. Looking back, I was just so gullible.
“After she disinfected me and started the cryotherapy, I felt a cold sting. It wasn’t too painful, just a bit uncomfortable. Once the procedure had finished, she said I’d have to come back as my moles were bigger than normal and slightly raised.”
Gaudszun returned a month later for the same procedure at an additional cost of £100. She was asked to write a positive review on the clinic’s website, which she did. A few weeks later the moles blew up and turned into scabs.
“They looked terrible. It was awful going to work with these vile scabs on my face. The frozen bits eventually died and fell off, revealing fresh flesh underneath. The black moles then grew back and poked through. They looked worse. I had to go back for a third time, paying £100 again. But the same thing happened again. They kept growing back and were not removed properly.”
Over the course of a year, Gaudszun went 10 times, spending a total of £1,000, each time thinking it would be the last session.
“When I think about it now, it’s ridiculous that I went through with it. Part of the moles still remain on my face now. I can see blackheads growing back through. I found out later that my type of facial moles should never have been removed using cryotherapy.”