Skin tags are small growths that hang off your skin. While they are common and harmless, some people just want to learn how to get rid of skin tags. If they are bothering you, there is a simple, effective, and easy way to get rid of skin tags.
They are benign growths that form within the skin folds of your neck, breasts, armpits, groin area, or the eyelids. Simply put, they are loose collagen fibers that become lodged inside thicker areas of the skin.
There is no clear cause of why skin tags appear on your skin. Some theories are that they develop due to friction or skin rubbing against skin.
Some studies, however, have found a link between skin tags and diabetes type 2, as well as obesity. Other theories suggest hormonal changes in pregnancy contribute to skin tags as well.
- 1 What skin tags look like?
- 2 Why do skin tags occur?
- 3 Can they be a problem?
- 4 Home remedies for skin tags
- 5 When home remedies do not work
- 6 Precautions and aftercare
- 7 Should you see a doctor?
As mentioned previously, these skin tags are harmless. However, they can be painful when snagged by clothing, jewelry, or something else.
They look like small, soft, and skin-colored growths on the skin. Not all skin tags are the same. They can vary in size, but also color. Their size can vary from few millimeters, up to 2 inches wide.
They can be found in different locations, including the groin, under the breasts, armpits, on the neck, on the eyelids, under the folds of the buttocks, and more.
A lot of people mistake skin tags for warts. While they look similar, there are a few differences.
Here is a quick breakdown of differences:
- Unlike warts, which spread very easily, skin tags are not contagious. Therefore, if you notice a sudden outbreak, it is more likely to be warts
- Skin tags are smooth and soft, while warts are rougher with an irregular surface
- Skin tags hang off the skin, while warts are slightly raised or flat
As mentioned previously, there is no clear cause of skin tags. They are made of loose collagen fibers, as well as blood vessels surrounded by skin. Both men and women can be affected by skin tags. However, they tend to occur in older people, as well as obese people.
Another possible cause of skin tags is pregnancy. In pregnancy, hormone levels in women go out of control, and the changes can cause all sort of skin issues. Last, but not least, skin tags can grow and develop for no apparent reason.
The good news is that they are harmless. They tend to grow in the skin folds, where the skin rubs against itself. Those include the neck, groin, armpits, and more.
Because they appear when the skin rubs against itself, it is logical that they appear in overweight people who have excess folds of skin and skin chafing.
Can they be a problem?
We said that skin tags are generally harmless. They do not cause pain or discomfort. However, they might affect your self-esteem. For some people, anything growing on their skin and preventing them from having a clear face and clear skin is a problem.
Another issue that might occur with skin tags is snagging on clothing or jewelry. If that happens, the skin tag might cause bleeding.
Removing skin tags is considered cosmetic surgery. Therefore, you will have to pay to have this done privately. Cosmetic surgery is only available if the problem is affecting the physical or mental health.
While surgery is something you will have to pay, and it costs a lot of money, there are home remedies for skin tags that work. If you are tired of these annoying growths, relief is available.
So, how to get rid of skin tags? We will take a look at all of the natural and home remedies, but also mention the possibilities for over the counter products, and surgical options.
Tea tree oil
Known as one of the best antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial remedy, tea tree oil is quite potent. It is safe to use on the skin, but only in a diluted version. Always dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil before usage, since it can be potent and harmful when used directly on the skin.
Once you dilute the oil, use a cotton swab to gently massage it over the affected area. Place a bandage over it, and leave it overnight. Repeat the treatment until the skin tag dries out and then falls off the skin.
SEE ALSO: Essential oils for Skin Tags
A lot of the home remedies for skin tags are old wives’ tales. But they work. When we eat bananas, we usually throw away banana peels. But they can be effective for several skin issues, including skin tags.
Use the peel of a banana to dry out your skin tag. Just put the peel over the tag, cover it with a bandage, and leave it overnight. Repeat for several nights until the problem is gone.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also has some potent antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Soak a cotton swab in the vinegar, and then place it over the skin tag. Use a bandage to wrap the section. Leave for 10 to 30 minutes. Remove once it starts burning. Wash the skin afterward.
Repeat the process every day for a couple of weeks. The acidity will break down the tissue surrounding the skin tag, and it will fall off.
Aging is one of the reasons why skin tags appear on your skin. As an antioxidant, vitamin E can fight off wrinkles, fine lines, and other skin issues caused by aging.
Just apply liquid vitamin E over the skin tag, and it will vanish in a few days. Make sure to massage the oil over the tag and the skin surrounding it for a few minutes.
Garlic helps improve the appearance of skin by reducing inflammation. Apply crushed garlic over the tag, cover with a bandage, and leave it overnight. Wash the area in the morning, and repeat until the problem resolves.
This is something you can use at home, or go to a dermatologist. Liquid nitrogen will freeze off skin tags, and they will fall off.
Freezing kits are available in drugstores and pharmacies. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. Several applications are necessary, and it usually happens within 10 days period.
Be careful, the spray should not come into contact with the surrounding skin. Apply petroleum jelly to the area for protection.
When home remedies do not work
Home remedies for how to get rid of skin tags work in most cases. However, there are situations when these remedies are not enough. Or they are just not suitable.
Those situations include:
- When the skin tag is located around the eyes
- When the skin tag is located around the genitals
- If skin tags are very large or long
- When skin tags cause pain, bleeding, and itching
If that happens, you need to seek medical treatment. The options for a medical procedure are the following:
- Cauterization, which involves burning off the skin tag
- Cryotherapy, applying liquid nitrogen to freeze off the tag. As mentioned, some people try to do this at home as well
- Ligation is when the tag is tied off with surgical thread, which reduces blood flow to the area
- Excision, a professional using blade to cut off the skin tag
While skin tags are noncancerous growths, some doctors perform a biopsy as a precaution. They do that when the skin tag is atypical or looks suspicious.
Precautions and aftercare
Infections do not occur when the skin tag is removed. Some people might develop a scar after removal. But scars disappear over time. If you remove the skin tag at home, make sure to apply antibiotic ointment to the affected area as a form of precaution.
When you need a surgical procedure to remove the skin tag, a doctor will recommend keeping the wound dry for at least 48 hours and then gently washing.
Should you see a doctor?
As mentioned previously, in most cases, skin tags are harmless. They do not cause pain or any discomfort. So, when to see a doctor?
Schedule a visit to the doctor’s office is the skin tag is large, painful, or located in a sensitive area.