A skin tag is nothing other than extra skin that protrudes on certain parts of the body. These small skin growths are mostly seen on the neck, shoulders, eyelids, underarms, groin, and under the breasts. Otherwise known as acrochordon, skin tags are made of skin, and they have ducts, nerve cells, and fat cells. Most of them are attached to the skin by a thin stalk. They are not at all harmful, but can be unsightly. Though not a health concern, skin tags are often removed for cosmetic purposes.
Once formed, skin tags do not change in size or shape. There can be one or more skin tags on a person's body. Usually, they are seen in pregnant women, obese and elderly people, and diabetics. The condition can also be hereditary. It is believed that skin tags form due to the friction between skin on adjacent areas (as in the armpit). They may also develop due to friction between the skin and clothing/jewelry.
How to Remove Skin Tags on Your Own
The safest way to get rid of a skin tag is to visit a doctor, who can remove it using a scalpel or scissors, after numbing the area. These skin growths can be removed through cauterization too. Given below are a few home remedies that may prove effective for removing them at home.
Castor Oil: Prepare a paste of castor oil and baking soda. Apply it on skin tags three times a day, for at least two to three weeks. Make sure to cover the entire skin tag with a thick layer of this paste. It will dry out and fall off, after two to three weeks.
Nail Polish: Apply nail polish on the skin tag twice a day, till it dries out and falls off. It may take around two weeks of continuous application for removing this skin growth. Use clear nail polish for this purpose. Avoid using nail polish on skin tags that are located near the eyes or genitals.
Duct Tape: If you are looking for an easy method, use duct tape to remove skin tags. Cover it with a small piece of duct tape. The tape must cover the skin tag and the skin around it. It will get loose within 24 to 48 hours. Once the tape becomes loose, peel it off gently. If the skin tag is still there, stick another piece of duct tape and repeat the process. If it is removed along with the tape; clean the skin and cover it with bandage, to prevent infection.
Tea Tree Oil: Apply tea tree oil on the skin tag, using a cotton ball. Repeat three times daily, till it falls off on its own. Tea tree oil is not at all harmful for the skin. In fact, it is beneficial, and is widely used in beauty products. You may replace tea tree oil with apple cider vinegar.
Dental Floss: Tie the thin stalk of the skin tag using dental floss. You must tie it tightly, so that the blood flow to the skin growth is cut off. This will cause some pain and irritation, which can be alleviated by applying ice. Avoid touching the skin tag as well as the dental floss. The skin tag may fall off within a week. Otherwise, remove the knot and tie it once again. Make sure to use clean and sterilized dental floss for skin tag removal. This method should be avoided in case of skin tags on the groin and other locations with delicate skin.
Dermisil: This is an over-the-counter product that is used for removing skin tags. Soak a cotton ball with this solution and apply it on the skin tag, three times a day. Continue till it dries up and falls off. It may take around three weeks for the skin growth to get removed. It is advisable to seek the opinion of your healthcare provider before using over-the-counter products.
In addition to these, products like wart removers are also used for removing skin tags. If you want to use wart removers, it is better to consult a dermatologist before using the same. Avoid cutting or pulling skin tags, as they may bleed and get infected. In short, skin tag removal is not necessary, as this type of skin growths are not harmful, and do not cause any pain or discomfort.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.