Soft, fleshy growths that hang from the skin are commonly referred to as skin tags. Acrochordons as they are referred to within the medical community are not cancerous. They are generally considered a cosmetic concern, not a medical issue. They rarely cause pain or discomfort. But many people find them unsightly and want to know how to remove skin tags.
These benign growths often appear on the folds of the skin where moisture and friction are common. This includes under arms and in the armpit region, on the neck, under the breast, near the genitals, on eyelids, or on the torso. While they can be irritated by clothing or jewelry, they typically are painless. Rarely, if a skin tag is twisted, a small blood clot can develop, which may make it tender or painful.
As skin tags are considered a cosmetic issue, and not a medical one, your health insurance likely won’t pay for it to be removed. Because of this, learning how to remove skin tags naturally and safely at home can save you time and money. Fortunately, once removed, they typically do not grow back in the same area.
Causes of skin tags
Science has yet to determine a definitive cause of skin tags. However, there are a number of recognized risk factors. These include:
- Being female: According to research, skin tags occur more often in women than men, and they often appear at middle age and may be related to weight gain.
- Aging: Skin tags are one of the most common skin ailments related to aging according to recent studies. Other skin maladies mentioned include wrinkles and age spots.
- Friction: As noted, areas where skin rubs against skin, or against clothing or jewelry, may be more prone to developing skin tags.
How to remove skin tags permanently
1. Tie a string:
For an elongated skin tag, your physician may tie a sterile string around the base to cut off the blood supply, causing the skin tag to die. As skin tags do have a blood supply of their own and doing this technique improperly can cause excessive bleeding, it is not recommended to do this yourself. When deciding how to remove skin tags, there are other safe and effective at-home treatments you can try.
2. Apple cider vinegar:
Used for generations for skin care because of its ability to kill harmful bacteria and fungi, balance pH levels, and so much more, organic apple cider vinegar is always at the top of the list for treating skin ailments including skin tags, warts, eczema and acne. With ongoing treatment, the skin tag may start to darken in color, indicating it is dying. Keep up with the apple cider vinegar compresses; it may take a few days or even a couple of weeks to see the results, but this is one of the safest and easiest ways when learning how to remove skin tags.
3. Tea tree oil:
With strong antiseptic properties and its ability to kill fungal infections while soothing the skin, tea tree oil is a safe and effective treatment for a wide array of skin conditions including acne, eczema, psoriasis and skin tags. To help remove a skin tag, apply six to eight drops of a high-quality tea tree oil to a sterile cotton ball and secure to the skin with a bandage. Remove after fifteen minutes. Do this three times a day until the skin tag falls off. This may take a few days, or even weeks, depending on the location and size.
Most people tolerate topical tea tree oil applications well, but if you experience any discomfort, redness, or itching, please discontinue using it.
A topical application of liquid iodine may help remove skin tags. It works by breaking down skin cells, so it is extremely important that you only apply to the skin tag and avoid the healthy surrounding skin. To be safe, carefully apply coconut oil to a one half inch area around the skin tag to create a barrier. Then apply a couple of drops of iodine with a sterile cotton swab. Repeat twice each day until the skin tag falls off.
5. Vitamin E:
Another great topical treatment for skin tags is vitamin E oil. Like garlic, tea tree oil, and apple cider vinegar, it has been used for generations for a wide range of skin issues, including skin tag removal.
Select a high-quality vitamin E oil and apply it to the skin tag. Cover with a small piece of plastic wrap and secure with a bandage. The oil will work diligently overnight. By cutting off the air supply, you may see great results within a couple of weeks.
While definitely the smelliest choice on this list, crushed garlic has been used for generations to treat warts and skin tags. Simply crush a large clove of garlic with a knife to release the potent oils of the garlic, and then secure with a bandage over the skin tag. Best results will come with repeated overnight applications; in the morning, wash and dry the area well.
7. Papaya and Banana peel:
There is some evidence that applying a banana peel or papaya peel to a skin tag may cause it to die and fall off. It seems to be even more effective when used in combination with tea tree oil. Before bed, simply put a few drops of tea tree oil on the skin tag and then cover with a peel, securing in place with a bandage. Repeat nightly until the skin tag dies and falls off. Do not do this if you have a latex allergy or sensitivity.
You have to remember that while using these home remedies you should be very careful since all the ingredients that are used in the skin tags removing treatments are acidic in nature, so it can burn your skin. All the above mentioned home remedies will not be as effective as surgical method and will also take a considerable amount of time to show results.