Skin tags are common, harmless growths. Of the many home removal methods, some are more effective than others. However, doctors often warn against using it.
Almost half of adults have skin tags. They do not cause health problems, but they can be disturbing.
Skin tags require no treatment and will likely fall off on their own, but your doctor may recommend simple treatments if they get caught in clothing or cause pain.
People may also want to remove skin tags for cosmetic reasons, especially when they are on visible areas such as the face.
In this article, Medical News Today spoke with dermatologist Kemunto Mokaya to find out the safest and most effective ways to remove skin tags at home.
Home Remedies to Remove Skin Tags
Some at-home skin tag removal methods are more effective and safer than others. There are many products on the market for this purpose.
Check with your doctor before trying any of the following.
Skin tag removal strips and patches
Skin tag removal strips cut off the blood supply to the base of the skin tag. Without blood supply, the cells die and the label falls off. This process is called ligation.
Removal patches include medication. If a person leaves a patch on the tag for a few days or weeks, the tag can come off.
However, Dr. Mokaya says: “I honestly don’t like skin tag removal, especially spot removal. They’re not regulated [by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)]. A lot of them just don’t work.”
Instead, he recommends removing skin tags in a medical setting.
These oils are effective in some cases. Dr. Mokaya recommends avoiding products containing salicylic acid and tea tree oil, as these ingredients can irritate the skin or cause contact dermatitis.
The instructions for using these creams recommend cleaning the skin with an alcohol wipe and sticking the label before applying the cream so that it can be fully absorbed by the skin.
According to the labels on some of these products, the skin tags should fall off within 2-3 weeks.
In a clinical setting, healthcare professionals use liquid nitrogen to destroy unwanted skin tissue. This is called cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy can be performed at temperatures as low as -320.8°F (-195°C), Dr. Mokaya said. Benign lesions, such as skin tags, require temperatures between -4°F and -58°F.
Dr. Mokaya recommends doing your research and choosing an over-the-counter kit that can achieve the lowest possible temperature when used properly.
Always follow the directions. People may need to apply the product several times before growth subsides.
Avoid getting the spray on the surrounding skin when using a home freezing tool. Applying petroleum jelly around the tag beforehand will help protect the skin.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that helps treat several skin conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help remove skin tags.
People who have tried it put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball and apply it to the skin tag with a band-aid. They leave the cotton ball on the skin tag for 10 minutes three times a day. It may take days or weeks for the tags to fall off.
However, tea tree oil can irritate sensitive skin, so one should be careful. Do not use this cream on the eye area label.
apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has not been studied to remove skin tags.
People who have tried it soak a cotton ball in vinegar and apply it to the tag for 10 minutes two or three times a day until the bandage falls off.
However, watch for skin irritation and discontinue use if any reaction occurs. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can cause chemical burns. Do not use near eyes.
It has been speculated that people can use liquid iodine to remove skin tags. However, there is little scientific evidence.
Anyone who wants to try it should first protect the skin around the tag with petroleum jelly or coconut oil. The Q-tip is then soaked in iodine and the liquid is spread over the tag. Wrap the place with a bandage until the iodine dries.
Repeat this treatment twice a day until the tags disappear.
Cut or cut
It can be interesting to cut or cut the skin tag with a sharp blade, nail clippers or scissors. This should be done only with the permission of a professional doctor, and the skin and instruments should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent infection.
It’s an instant pleasure to remove, but it’s painful, says Dr. Mokaya. People who take blood thinners or have bleeding disorders should avoid this method, he added.
Also, do not cut or cut medium or large tags – this can cause bleeding. Labels typically range from a few millimeters to 2 inches in width.