Skin tags are soft noncancerous growths on the skin and are usually harmless. Medically known as acrochordons, they are common in both men and women and tend to appear in people 50 years old and older. The composition of a skin tag consists of fat, blood vessels, and collagen surrounded by an outer layer of skin.
Causes of Skin Tags
It’s not clear what causes skin tags, but they’re usually attributed to friction or skin rubbing against your skin. They’re generally harmless, but can sometimes be painful or irritating when your clothes or jewelry rub against them. Some studies attribute skin tags to human papillomavirus (HPV) and found that HPV DNA was present in 48.6% of skin tags examined.
Skin tags can also be a side effect of pregnancy due to changes in hormonal levels or weight gain. At times, skin tags might be a sign of hormonal imbalance in the body. Skin tags might also occur in people who are overweight or experience insulin resistance.
Regardless of what causes them, skin tags are not contagious and should not be a significant cause of worry.
How Do You Identify a Skin Tag?
You may confuse skin tags for other types of skin growths. Skin tags usually occur in areas of the body that experience more friction, such as:
- Folds of the buttocks
- Area under the breasts
Unlike warts, which are rougher, skin tags have a softer texture. Skin tag growths are typically smooth and round. Most skin tags are small and often under two millimeters, but large ones can grow to a few centimeters. Others skin tags are threadlike and resemble rice grains.
The color of skin tags is usually similar to the color of your flesh, unless they’re twisted. In that case, the decrease in blood flow will cause them to turn darker temporarily.
Home Remedies for Removing Skin Tag
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil may have antiviral and antifungal properties. Applying this substance is simple.
Wash the area that has the skin tag. Apply the tea tree oil with a cotton swab. After that, massage the oil over the area for several minutes. Place a bandage over it overnight. Avoid using tree oil for areas under the eyes.
Read More: Remove Dark Circle Under eyes
Don’t pitch your banana peels into the trash. They can help dry out skin tags.
Take a small piece of banana peel and place it over the area with the skin tags. Place a bandage over the skin tag and banana peel and keep the area bandaged until the skin tags fall off.
Read More: Benefits of Banana for Skin, hair and health
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is a multipurpose product and not only helps for cooking and cleaning but also for skincare. Soak a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and then place it over the area with the skin tag. Wrap it for 15-30 minutes and, after that, wash the skin.
Repeat this process daily until the skin tags fall off. Acids in apple cider vinegar can help break down tissue that surrounds the skin tag.
Skin tags are common among aging people. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that could reduce the appearance of wrinkles and maintain healthy skin.
The vitamin can help skin tags vanish in several days. Massage the area daily with vitamin E for significant results.
Garlic is a natural antifungal and antimicrobial remedy for skin tags. It’s a substance that could drastically reduce inflammation.
Apply crushed garlic to the skin area and leave it on overnight. In the morning, wash your skin. If repeated daily, the skin tag could shrink and eventually disappear.
Take precautions before using iodine on your skin. Apply petroleum jelly or coconut oil to the surrounding skin as protection. Soak a cotton swab in iodine and spread it over the affected skin area.
Cover the skin with a bandage until the iodine dries off. This remedy could be effective if performed twice a day until the skin tag falls off.
While many people have used aloe vera to moisturize or soothe their skin, it might also be effective on skin tags. It’s packed with wound healing and antioxidant properties.
After cleaning the skin, apply aloe vera over the skin and massage it. The recommended application is two to three times a day.
String or Floss
Using string or floss as a remedy is more physical and often requires the help of a second person. Note that the skin, string, or dental floss should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent any infections.
Tying string or floss around skin tags helps prevent blood from flowing to them. This dries the skin tags and makes them fall off.
Over-the-Counter Products (OTC Products)
Several products that help get rid of skin tags can be found in pharmacies and drugstores. One such product is a freezing kit. A freezing kit has liquid nitrogen that is used to freeze off skin tags. Protect the surrounding skin with petroleum jelly and you might see results within ten days.
Removal creams are also sold and come bundled with applicators. If you follow the instructions in the packaging, you might see results in three weeks. At times, you might experience a mild stinging sensation when using removal creams.
Removing Skin Tags Surgically
Dermatologists perform cryosurgery by freezing the tags off the skin. If you are not comfortable using freezing methods at home by yourself, this could be a good option.
Cryosurgery might be a faster remedy to treat your skin. That’s because home freezing kits might require multiple applications.
Cauterization employs the use of an electric probe or needle to burn off a skin tag. Heat may also be used to seal off the area where a skin tag was removed.
Some skin tags have blood vessels, so using heat might prevent excessive bleeding associated with the removal process.
More massive skin tags may require snipping or excision at the base of the skin tag. Dermatologists use sterilized scissors or scalpels to perform such procedures.
To prevent infections and excessive bleeding, dermatologists might use stitches and bandages, depending on the size of the removal area.
If you have skin tags on your body, consider trying some of these remedies. If you’re worried that prolonged addiction might damage your skin or other parts of your body, consider seeking help at drug or alcohol addiction centers. In short, if you’re in doubt or have questions, seek medical advice.
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.