Last Updated on November 12, 2023 by Otuebo Harrison
Skin tags are soft, noncancerous growths that typically appear in the folds of the skin on the neck, under the arms, between the breasts, in the groin, and on the eyelids. These lumps are loose collagen fibers that get stuck inside the skin’s thicker layers.
According to Kemunto Mokaya, MD, skin tags are also exceedingly prevalent, affecting nearly half of the population. According to her, older persons, those who are overweight, and those who have diabetes are also more likely to experience them.
These skin lesions are often painless, but if they become caught in jewelry or clothes, they could become uncomfortable. There is relief if these growths constitute a nuisance. Here are some tips for removing skin tags at home, as well as some over-the-counter and surgical treatments.
Home Remedies for Skin Tags
Typically, skin tags don’t need to be treated or seen by a doctor. It might be possible to do so with items already in your kitchen or medicine cabinet if you decide to remove a tag. The majority of DIY treatments involve drying the skin tag till it becomes smaller and falls off.
It’s vital to remember that these home remedies will always take longer to work than surgical solutions. Never attempt to remove a skin tag yourself as this increases the risk of infection and bleeding.
Keep your used banana peels, particularly if you have a skin tag. A skin tag can also be dried out using the peel of a banana. This might be because of their antioxidant properties.
Wrap the tag with a piece of banana peel and fasten it with a bandage. till the tag comes off, repeat this each night.
Tea Tree Oil
When diluted in a carrier oil, tea tree oil, which contains antiviral and antifungal properties, is safe to apply to the skin.
Wash the affected area first. Then, apply the oil to the skin tag gently by massaging it there with a Q-tip or cotton swab. Overnight, cover the area with a bandage. For many nights, keep doing this therapy until the tag dries out and comes off.
Garlic reduces inflammation, which helps the skin look better. Apply crushed garlic over the skin tag and bandage the area overnight to get rid of a skin tag naturally.
In the morning, wash the area. Continue doing this up until the skin tag is reduced or gone.
Skin tags may develop as people age. Applying liquid vitamin E over a skin tag may cause the growth to disappear in a couple of days because vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights wrinkles and maintains good skin.
Simply apply oil to the tag and surrounding skin and massage until the tag comes off.
Apple cider vinegar
Place a cotton swab over the skin tag after soaking it in apple cider vinegar. After covering the area with a bandage for 15 to 30 minutes, cleanse the skin. Repeat each day for a few weeks.
Apple cider vinegar’s acidity dissolves the skin tag’s surrounding tissue, causing it to slip off.
Over-The-Counter Products for Skin Tags
Several over-the-counter (OTC) products in grocery and drugstores can safely remove a skin tag along with home remedies.
Cryotherapy, or the application of extremely low temperatures, is used in freezing kits to remove undesirable skin tissue.
According to Mokaya, benign lesions, such as skin tags, must be destroyed at temperatures between 4 and 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
She advises searching for an over-the-counter kit for removing skin tags or warts that will achieve the lowest temperature when used properly. Mokaya concludes by pointing out that although cryotherapy and removal creams can result in contact dermatitis and irritation, they can still be useful in the short term.
When to See a Doctor
Skin tags can resemble other skin disorders including moles and warts. The best course of action is to have your skin tags inspected by a doctor because certain moles could be cancerous. Skin tags can be identified by your dermatologist or family doctor. They’ll most likely conduct a visual examination in person, though telemedicine is also a possibility.
The majority of skin tags are benign growths, but if yours is unusual or seems suspect, your doctor might take a biopsy just to be safe.
Surgical Procedures for Skin Tags
Surgical removal for skin tags is a common outpatient procedure. After numbing the area with a local anesthetic, your doctor may perform one of the following procedures based on the size and location of the skin tag:
- Cauterization. Your doctor uses heat to remove the skin tag.
- Cryosurgery. Your doctor sprays a small amount of liquid nitrogen over the skin tag, which freezes off the growth.
- Electrocautery. You doctor could also burn the skin tag off with a specialized electric current.
- Ligation. Skin tags can sometimes be removed by cutting off the blood flow with surgical thread.
- Surgery. This simply involves your doctor snipping off the skin tag at its base with surgical scissors. The size and location of the skin tag will determine the need for bandages or stitches.
Removal Aftercare Tips
Skin tag removal typically doesn’t result in infections or other consequences. Some people experience post-removal scarring, which may eventually fade.
Apply antibiotic cream to the area where you removed the skin tag at home, then bandage it up like you would a wound. So there is less chance of becoming sick. If the region bleeds or gets uncomfortable, consult a doctor.
Your doctor may advise keeping the wound dry for at least 48 hours after a procedure to remove a skin tag before gently cleaning the area with soap and water.
Additionally, your doctor might arrange a follow-up visit to examine the area and remove any stitches that might have been required.
What Causes Skin Tags?
The specific reason why skin tags develop is unknown. Friction can be a factor since they typically show up in skin folds. We are aware that they consist of collagen and blood arteries that are encased in a skin-like covering.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) and skin tags are related, according to studies. Skin tags might also develop as a result of insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Ineffective bloodstream glucose absorption occurs in people with insulin resistance.
A 2010 study found that having several skin tags was linked to insulin resistance, a high body mass index, and high triglycerides.
Skin tags are another typical pregnant side effect. Pregnancy hormones and weight gain could be to blame for this. Multiple skin tags may occasionally indicate an endocrine disorder or a hormonal imbalance.
There might be a genetic link as well. It is not uncommon for several family members to possess them. Skin tags are not contagious, though.
Treatment is not required for skin tags that don’t cause irritation because they are mostly harmless.
Even though over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies might be efficient, cost-effective options, if a skin tag doesn’t go away with self-care, bleeds, or keeps getting bigger, visit your doctor.
A skin tag can be properly removed using several techniques with little discomfort and scarring.