Skin tags are a common and completely innocuous development. Some of the numerous different home removal strategies are more effective than others in certain situations. Doctors, on the other hand, frequently advise against their use.
Skin tags are found on nearly half of all adults. They do not create any medical issues, however they can be a source of irritation.
A doctor may recommend a simple medical procedure to remove skin tags that are catching on clothing or causing discomfort. While most skin tags do not require treatment and may fall off on their own, some are painful and may require removal by a doctor.
Skin tags may also be removed for cosmetic reasons, particularly if they are located on prominent portions of the body such as the face.
To discover about the safest and most successful techniques to remove skin tags at home, Medical News Today spoke with skin specialist Kemunto Mokaya, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, in the story published by Medical News Today.
Skin tag removal at home
Some methods for removing skin tags at home are more successful and safe than others, depending on the situation. There are also other goods available on the market that are designed specifically for this function.
Before attempting any of the following, consult with your doctor first:
Skin tag removal bands and patches
A skin tag removal band works by cutting off the blood supply to the skin tag’s base. It is used to remove skin tags. The cells die as a result of a lack of blood flow, and the tag slips off. Ligation is the term used to describe this procedure.
Removal patches contain medications. If a person leaves a patch on a tag for several days or weeks, it is possible that the tag will become detached.
Dr. Mokaya, on the other hand, states that she is “honestly not a fan of over-the-counter skin tag removal technologies, particularly removal patches. ” Their activities are not supervised or controlled by the [Food and Drug Administration (FDA)]. The majority of them are just ineffective.”
Instead, she strongly urges that skin tags be removed in a hospital setting by a trained professional.
These creams have the potential to be beneficial in some situations. Products containing salicylic acid and tea tree oil, according to Dr. Mokaya, should be avoided because these compounds might irritate the skin and create contact dermatitis.
Some of these creams’ directions for use involve washing the skin with an alcohol swab and filing down the tag before applying the cream to ensure that it is completely absorbed by the skin before applying the lotion.
According to the instructions on the packaging of several of these products, the skin tag should peel off within 2–3 weeks.
Liquid nitrogen is used by healthcare practitioners to remove undesirable skin tissue in a clinical setting. Cryotherapy is the term used to describe this procedure.
According to Dr. Mokaya, cryotherapy can be performed at temperatures as low as 320.8°F (-195°C). Skin tags and other noncancerous lesions require temperatures ranging from 4°F to 58°F.
In order to achieve the lowest temperature possible, Dr. Mokaya recommends conducting research and picking an over-the-counter kit that can be utilised properly.
As always, follow the instructions. It is possible that people will need to apply the lotion numerous times before the growth is eliminated.
When using home freezing kits, make sure that the spray does not come into contact with any surrounding flesh. Preventing skin damage by applying petroleum jelly to the region around the tag can be accomplished in several ways.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of skin ailments. According to anecdotal evidence, it may be effective in the removal of skin tags.
A few drops of the oil are placed on a cotton ball, which is then wrapped around the skin tag with a bandage. Those who try it report success. They apply the cotton ball to the skin tag three times a day for a total of ten minutes each time. It could take several days or even weeks for the tag to come off completely.
Tea tree oil, on the other hand, should be used with caution because it has the potential to irritate sensitive skin. This oil should not be applied on tags near the eyes.
Apple cider vinegar
There has been little investigation on whether apple cider vinegar can be used to eliminate skin tags.
The majority of people who attempt this soak a cotton ball in vinegar and attach it to the tag with a bandage for 10 minutes, twice or three times a day, until the tag slips off.
However, keep an eye out for signs of skin irritation and discontinue use if any signs of a reaction are noticed. Apple cider vinegar is extremely acidic and can cause chemical burns if consumed in large quantities. It should not be used in close proximity to the eyes.
Skin tags have been reported to be removed using liquid iodine, according to anecdotal evidence. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.
The skin surrounding the tag should be protected first by putting petroleum jelly or coconut oil to it, before attempting the procedure. In the next step, wet a Q-tip in iodine and apply it to the tag in a circular motion. Continue to bandage the area until the iodine has dried completely.
Repeat this treatment twice a day for as long as the tag remains.
Cutting or clipping
If you have a skin tag, it can be tempting to cut or clip it off with a sharp blade, nail clippers, or scissors. To avoid infection, only do this with the approval of a healthcare practitioner, and carefully clean both the skin and the tool before using it again.
Dr. Mokaya explains that while this method delivers immediate gratification in the form of removal, it is uncomfortable. It is recommended that people who take blood thinners or who have bleeding disorders avoid using this approach, she says.
Also, avoid cutting or clipping off medium or large tags because this can result in bleeding. A tag’s width can range anywhere from a few millimetres to more than 2 inches in most cases.
Additionally, this approach should not be used on tags around the eyes or on the genitals.
The American Academy of Dermatology warns that attempting to remove a mole or skin tag at home can result in a deep-seated illness that requires medical attention. Additionally, it is possible to accidently nick a blood vessel or vein, which can result in considerable bleeding.
Skin tags that are the following types should not be removed at home:
- located around the eyes
- located around the genitals
- very large or long
- causing pain, bleeding, or itching
In these situations, seek medical attention. Skin tag removal can be accomplished with the use of medical procedures such as:
- Cauterization: This involves burning off the skin tag. Most tags drop away after a couple of treatments.
- Cryotherapy: This involves applying liquid nitrogen to freeze off the tag. Usually, one or two treatments are sufficient.
- Ligation: This involves a healthcare provider tying surgical thread around the tag to reduce blood flow, causing it to eventually drop off.
- Excision: This involves using a blade to cut off the tag.
Skin tag removal is typically regarded as a cosmetic procedure, and as such, it is unlikely to be reimbursed by medical insurance.
When should you visit the doctor?
Before attempting to remove a skin tag, health professionals recommend that you consult with a dermatologist first.
To ensure the safety of the patient, it is best for a medical expert to remove the tag in their presence – especially if the tag is large, unpleasant, or positioned in an especially sensitive area.
If a skin tag or mole changes, get medical assistance as soon as possible. This may be an indication of skin cancer in some circumstances.
Skin tags are not normally considered to be a medical emergency. Once a doctor has determined that the growth is benign, it is typically not essential to take any more treatment.
When it comes to little tags that are not in sensitive regions, a person may want to consider using a home removal procedure. It is, however, preferable to consult a healthcare expert for removal in a medical setting to ensure your safety.
In addition, if any skin tag changes or begins to cause problems, such as discomfort or bleeding, get medical attention.