Skin tags (known medically as acrochordons) are small and harmless tumors or growths that appear most commonly in area of the body where skin tends to crease or fold. They are often found around the armpits, neck, groin or eyelids, or anywhere the skin regularly creases and folds. They are incredible common and virtually everyone will deal with a skin tag at least once in their life. While they are found on nearly all people, they occur more often in those with obesity who have more folds of skin and therefore more opportunity for skin tags to develop. They are also more common in pregnant women because of increased hormones and also in those with diabetes. Although they are completely benign, many people find them embarrassing or unattractive and choose to remove them. You may also want to check out this page for more tips on removing skin tags at home.
There are three main methods of removal and many of them can be done at home:
- Oils and Natural Acids:
- Oregano Oil is antibacterial and contain anti-inflammatory properties that can lessen the appearance of skin tags with repeated use. It should be diluted with coconut oil and applied three times daily in order to dry out the growth, eventually leading to it falling off.
- Tea Tree Oil works in the same way. Repeated and daily applications will also allow the growth to dry and fall off.
- Lemon juice has been known to create a similar effect as the oils listed above. Dilute the lemon juice with an equal amount of water and apply with a cotton ball.
- Apple Cider Vinegar works the same as lemon juice as they are both acidic. The vinegar does not need to be diluted but if any irritation occurs, dilution should reduce any discomfort.
- Alcohol can also be used to dry skin tags and can be applied in the same manner as the vinegar, diluted if irritation occurs.
- Tying or Cutting
- Skin tags can be removed at home by simply tying a thread or dental floss around the growth and pulling in order to cut off the growth at its base. This method can be painful for some but generally, because there is little sensation in the skin tag, it is a painless process.
- Skin tags can also be cut off. This can be done at home with scissors or nail clippers or can be done safely by a doctor who will use a sanitary scalpel. It is best to go to a doctor for this method so that the skin tag is removed properly. If it is not properly removed, it can simply grow back.
- Freezing skin tags is often done by a doctor in a medical clinic in the same way that warts are removed. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the growth and it falls off naturally after a few days. There are over the counter products available so that this procedure can be done at home.
- Scholl’s has a skin tag removal kit that uses liquid nitrogen in the same way a doctor would to treat skin tags. The kit averages $35.00 for eight treatments, is available in most drugstores and is very easy to use.
- Compound W is another brand that offers an at-home skin tag removal kit and is similar to Scholl’s in concept as well as price.
No matter how you remove your skin tags, checking with a doctor beforehand to ensure the growth is benign is always a good idea. Although all skin tags are completely harmless, another type of growth could appear on your body much like a skin tag and actually be malignant, or harmful. Regardless, removing skin tags is only done for aesthetic purposes and it is always an option to simply leave the skin tag alone.