Skin tags are the most prevalent skin issue since half of the adults around the world have them. Usually, they are not much of a concern as they are harmless and root no such medical complications.
Usually, these skin tags do not need any treatment as they can fall off the skin themselves. Although these excessive growths can irritate and hurt by getting into clothes. At this point, when they start to hurt or bleed, the doctor might conduct a minor surgery.
Despite the doctors’ warnings against removing these skin tags, people usually try home remedies for their removal.
Medical News Today talked to a certified dermatologist and skincare expert, Kemunto Mokaya, M.D., for the best and healthy ways to remove the skin tags at home.
Over-the-counter Methods for Removing Skin Tags
You will find different skin tag removal products in the market. Here we are listing some of the best treatments for the said purpose:
Note: You must consult a medical expert before trying any remedy. Be mindful that the FDA does not approve any over-the-Counter skin tag removal.
Skin Tag Removal Patches and Bands
With a skin tag removal band, you can get rid of the skin tags within 7-10 days. These bands can stop the blood supply under the skin tag. This blood supply halt will lead the skin cells to die, causing the skin tag to fall off the skin. Medical experts name this process Ligation.
Besides, the patches are merely medicated patches that can cause the tag to fall off in days or weeks when coming into contact with tagged skin.
Although medical experts do not favor particular over-the-counter patches and band medicines for skin tag removal, the FDA (Food and Drug Authority) regulation does not back up these products, so the doctors recommend removing the skin tag surgically.
Skin Tag Removal Creams
Another over-the-counter product for skin tag removal is medicated cream. These creams might yield results for your skin tags, but medical experts are unsure about their working.
For using these creams, you first need to clean the skin by rubbing alcohol. Then to absorb the cream to the best, you need to file down the tag a bit. The cream claims to remove the skin tag within 2-3 weeks.
Dr. Mokaya commends avoiding these creams as they might have salicylic acid and tea tree oil. Such ingredients in the skin creams can lead to irritated skin or contact dermatitis.
Skin Tag Freezing Kits
If you opt for surgical removal of the skin tag, the doctor might go through the cryotherapy process. In Cryotherapy, the doctors use liquid nitrogen (one of the lowest temperature elements) to eliminate unnecessary skin cells.
While in Cryotherapy, the temperature can get as low as −320.8°F, for skin tag removal, this temperature needs to be around −4°F to −58°F.
Doctors recommend selecting the skin tag removal kit wisely. You need to ensure that the equipment can reach the lowest temperature when using.
Be careful while using the freezing kits, as if the spray touches the surrounding healthy skin, it will get damaged. To cover the surrounding area, you apply petroleum jelly as it will protect the healthy cells.
Home Remedies for Skin Tag Removal
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is proven to tackle several skin problems since it is essential oil. In addition, there is some circumstantial evidence that indicates that tea tree oil can help remove skin growths.
For applying the oil, you need cotton to stick to the skin tag through the bandage. After affixing the tea tree oil cotton, you need to leave it for ten minutes. Repeat this process thrice a day for a few days or weeks.
Note: while applying tea tree oil, proceed with caution since it can irritate sensitive skin. Moreover, do not apply the oil near the eye area.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Like tea tree oil, there is also a little research on apple cider vinegar working.
To apply the apple cider vinegar, you can get a cotton ball for soaking into vinegar and put it on the skin tan via the bandage. Using it three times a day for several weeks might get the tag to fall off.
- While using apple cider vinegar, look for skin irritation. Suppose you see any reaction to the skin; stop applying vinegar.
- Be mindful that vinegar is highly acidic, which can lead to chemical burns.
- Please refrain from using it near the eyes.
Iodine can also help remove the skin tags; however, there is not enough evidence.
If you are to apply iodine, you need to protect the surrounding skin of the tag. For that, you can use petroleum jelly or coconut oil.
After that, dip a Q-tip in iodine and apply the liquid thoroughly to the bag. After that, cover the tag with a bandage for some time. You can repeat this twice a day for a few weeks or until the skin tag falls.
With the aging process, skin tags might start to occur. You might know that vitamin E is a fantastic antioxidant that can keep the aging symptoms off the road by keeping the skin healthy. You can massage the vitamin E oil to the skin tag and surroundings unless it gets off the skin.
Garlic is proven to be a great anti-inflammatory agent. It can enhance the skin’s appearance by decreasing inflammation. You can remove skin tags by applying some crushed garlic and covering them with a bandage for a night. You can wash the skin in the morning.
Keep applying garlic until the skin tag starts to shrink and finally disappears.
You might be surprised to know that banana peels can help remove skin tags. You put a piece of a banana peel onto the skin tag and fix it with a bandage. It will dry out the skin tag that will eventually fall off after a few weeks.
Cutting Off the Skin Tag at Home
If you are to go the quick way to get rid of excessive skin growth, we recommend consulting a medical expert for such a purpose. Although if you urge to do it yourself, get a sharp blade, scissors, or nail clipper and sterilize them thoroughly. Do not forget to ask a doctor before such a procedure.
Even though it provides instant relief, it will be a painful procedure.
Dr. Mokaya says, do not consider cutting medium or large-sized tags by yourself. The tags can be as small as a few millimeters to as large as two inches wide. Moreover, cutting the tags around sensitive skin areas like eyes or genitals is not recommended.
In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that removing a mole or skin tag at home might root deep-seated infection. Plus, clipping a skin tag brings the risk of cutting a blood vein leading to severe bleeding.
Warning: People suffering from bleeding disorders or using a blood thinner should not go for this procedure.
What to Do After Removing Skin Tag?
It is unlikely to develop a complication or, in other words, infect after skin tag removal, although a scar can be seen after the removal. That scar can fade away with time.
To be safe, after removing the tag, apply antibiotic cream on the skin tag area so that germs do not cultivate. Although if you encounter bleeding or pain after removal, consult a medical expert.
Doctors recommend keeping the area dry for no more than 48 hours after the surgical removal of the skin tag. After the two days window passes, you can wash the wound with water. Plus, if the skin tag were wide enough, the doctor might want to follow up for stitches removal and wound checking.
When to See a Doctor?
Skin tags are not much of a concern, but if you have the following conditions, do not opt for removing them at home:
- Skin tag at the sensitive skin area like eyes or genitals
- A skin tag is very large or wide
- Skin tag irritates you by causing pain, bleeding, or itching
Medical experts might get you into cauterization (burning skin tag), Cryotherapy (freezing off tag), Ligation (tying thread to cut the blood flow), and excision (cutting by the blade) to remove the tags.
Skin tags do not bring health risks for individuals. However, they might get painful and bleed in some cases. For that, people can consider removing them by their home remedies or surgical procedures.
If the skin tags are not in sensitive skin areas like eyes and genitals, you can remove them from home. Still, it would be best if you see a doctor first.
Be mindful that doctors do not favor home remedies as they prefer medical procedures for the cutting off.
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