Skin tags are soft, flesh-colored, and non-cancerous growths on the skin. They can usually be found in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothes- the neck, armpits, the chest and groin areas, and even eyelids. What causes them is unclear for now, but they are considered harmless.
Skin tags are very common. Forty-six percent of people in America have them. They are also more common in adults aged 50 and above, but younger people who are overweight and suffer from diabetes can also have them. Pregnant women are also prone to having skin tags.
Skin tags are harmless, but they can be painful if they snagged by jewelry and rub against rough clothing. For these reasons and aesthetic purposes, most people prefer to remove them by over the counter medications or with the help of a doctor.
If you would rather try to deal with them at home, your main goal is to dry them out so they fall off on their own. Here are some home remedies to try:
Tea tree oil has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Commonly used to dry out acne, it may also work on skin tags. Make sure to clean the affected area first. Wash with soap and water. Use a Q-tip and gently swab the area with the oil. Cover with a bandage and leave on overnight. Repeat the process until the skin tag dries up and falls off.
Wash affected area with soap and water. Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and cover the skin tag. Place a bandage over the skin tag and leave on for about 30 minutes. Wash and dry after. Do this for two weeks. Healthline states that the acetic acid from the vinegar should break down the skin tag's surrounding tissue, and it should fall off eventually.
Also Read: How to Remove Skin Tags? 11 Home Remedies
Some people would prefer to go the drugstore route. Healthline suggests trying the following products:
1. Dr. Scholl's FreezeAway wart remover
2. Compound W skin tag remover
3. Claritag Advanced skin tag removal device
4. OHEAL wart remover cream
5. Samsali skin tag remover pads
Visit a dermatologist if existing skin tags are especially bothersome, and you would prefer to see instant results. Depending on the location and size of the skin tag/s, a doctor will apply local anesthesia to the affected area and perform one of the following procedures:
The doctor uses heat, usually in the form of a laser, to remove the skin tag. An antibacterial ointment will be given for aftercare to prevent infection.
The doctor will use liquid nitrogen and spray the appropriate amount over the skin tag. Doing so will freeze up the growth.
Using surgical scissors, the doctor will snip off the skin tag at its base. The need for stitches will depend on the size and location of the skin tag. In most cases, a bandage will do.
To reiterate, skin tags are not dangerous. If they do not cause pain and are in places where you do not wear jewelry, you can just opt to leave them alone.
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