A skin tag is a tag of skin attached to the surface of the skin through a small, narrow stalk (pedunculated) that can develop on the neck, underarms, beneath the breasts, torso, eyelids, and groin.
The condition is also known as acrochordon, cutaneous tag, Templeton skin tag, soft fibroma, fibroma molluscum, fibroepithelial polyp, and so on. It is a benign condition and does not cause symptoms.
Thus, skin tags tend to be harmless and painless. However, they may be irritated or may even burst when rubbed or scratched repeatedly. These soft skin growths are generally flesh or brown colored, and are typically the size of a grain.
It is believed that skin tags mostly develop due to skin rubbing against skin, clothing, jewelry, etc. Genetic predisposition can also increase one’s chances of developing skin tags.
Plus, in some people, they occur for no apparent reason. In addition, middle-aged individuals are more susceptible to this problem.
Obese people, too, are prone to skin tags because they have excess folds of skin. Other factors that make one prone to skin tags are diabetes, pregnancy, Crohn’s disease, HPV, etc.
How to Get Rid of Skin Tags
Here are 8 remedial measures that you can adopt to remove and treat skin tags. Though uncommon still, at times, they tend to fall off on their own. Furthermore, being a benign condition, it is not necessary to treat this problem, unless the skin tags become irritated or create a cosmetic concern.
- Cutting Off Skin Tags
- Tying Off Skin Tags
- The Band-Aid Trick
- Castor Oil and Baking Soda
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Tea Tree Oil
- Cosmetic Treatment
- Small skin tags can be cut off or removed using a pair of sharp scissors, blade, or nail clippers. Make sure you sterilize the tool with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide beforehand. Besides, you may want to apply ice or a little alcohol on the affected area before cutting off the skin tag to prevent infection. After cutting off the base of the skin tag, compress the area to avoid bleeding.
- Skin tags that cannot be cut off can be tied off with a dental floss, thread, suture, etc. This method is called litigation. You may have to keep the stalk of the unsightly skin growth tied for a few days until it turns darker and eventually falls off because of lack of blood supply. Rest assured that removing a skin tag is not going to cause more of these benign tumors to grow.
- Puncture a vitamin E capsule with a pin or needle and apply the oil on the affected area. Next, put a band aid on the skin tag to block the blood supply so that it falls off within a few days. You could also use the common household duct tape in the same way.
- Prepare a paste by mixing baking soda in castor oil. Smear it on the affected area and cover it with a bandage. Follow this remedy for a few weeks to get rid of skin tags naturally at home. If you do not like the smell of this paste, then you may add a few drops of a fragrant essential oil like lemon or orange essential oil.
- Apple cider vinegar is highly beneficial for a number of skin problems including skin tags. Soak a wash cloth in warm water and put in on the affected area. Next, remove the warm washcloth and dab a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar. Finally, cover the skin tag with a band aid.
- Applying tea tree oil once or twice a day for a few weeks disinfects the affected area and helps dry out the skin tag from the inside. Those who have a sensitive skin may dilute tea tree oil in water or some other base oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and so on.
- Bloodroot, which is native to the United States and Canada, works as a potent salve for the treatment of skin tags, moles, and warts. It requires applying bloodroot paste on the affected area (it should not touch healthy skin) and then covering it with a bandage. Change the bandage a few times and a way, and while reapplying, dab a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide, on the affected area. Do not use this therapy for more than 2-3 days. Application of this herb, however, is usually advised against because it tends to kill the tissues. If you are still interested in healing skin tags with bloodroot paste, make sure you consult your doctor beforehand.
- Like warts, skin tags can be gotten rid of with the help of cosmetic procedures such as freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery), burning off with a cautery pen (cauterization), cosmetic surgery, etc.
Tips to Prevent Skin Tags
Though this problem cannot be prevented altogether still, you can follow certain suggestions to reduce your chances of developing skin tags.
For instance, you should keep your blood sugar levels under control. As skin tags are more common in overweight and obese individuals, strive to maintain a healthy weight and reduce flab.
Dos and Don’ts
|Do visit your doctor for correct diagnosis of skin tags before attempting to remove them at home.
||Do not simply pull off your skin tag to get rid of it; it shall give rise to further irritation, and even bleeding.
|Do avoid using aggressive methods of removal.
||When following any procedure to remove the skin tag, make sure it leaves behind smooth skin with no scarring.
||Do not attempt to remove large skin tags yourself. The ones on sensitive area like the eyelids, too, should not be removed at home.