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6 Remedies for Skin Tag Removal at Home

Chandramita Bora
A skin tag is a type of tumor or skin outgrowth that is usually harmless and non-cancerous. But many individuals prefer to get rid of this skin outgrowth for cosmetic reasons. This story discusses some commonly used methods and remedies for skin tag removal.
The popular belief that removing a skin tag causes more tags to grow, does not have any scientific evidence. Some people are more prone to get skin tags and so, develop these outgrowths periodically, which is not related to their removal.
Skin tags or acrochorda are usually benign, and they do not cause any discomfort unless they are quite large and get irritated frequently by jewelry or clothing. Skin tags are also known as fibroepithelial polyp, cutaneous papilloma, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, and papilloma colli.
A skin tag or cutaneous skin tag is nothing but an outgrowth that remains attached to the skin with a small stalk that is known as peduncle. The small and slender peduncle connects the skin tag to the surface of the skin.
Acrochorda can be composed of nerve cells and a fibro-vascular core that remains covered by the epidermis. They commonly appear in places like the neck, armpits, upper chest, groin, and the eyelids. So, they are commonly found in those areas where the skin folds or forms creases.

What Causes Skin Tags

Though skin tags are commonly found in middle-aged and older individuals, what exactly causes their development is not known. They are usually believed to be caused by skin chafing or rubbing. An association has been observed between obesity and skin tags as well. Middle-aged, obese adults are more prone to develop skin tags.
Pregnant women can also develop this condition. In fact, skin tags can become more frequent during pregnancy due to the rising levels of the female hormones. In addition to these, it is suspected that genetics can also play a role in the development of skin tags. But multiple skin tags are believed to be associated with endocrine syndromes.

Acrochorda Removal

As skin tags are usually harmless and benign, no treatment is required unless they are irritated by clothing or jewelry, or due to rubbing of the skin. However, some people want to get rid of such skin outgrowths mainly for cosmetic reasons. The conventional treatments for this condition are, cauterization, cryosurgery, surgical excision, and laser surgery.
Cauterization involves the use of heat or a chemical compound for destroying the tissues of the skin tags, while cryosurgery is the method that employs extreme cold or liquid nitrogen to freeze off the skin tags.
Laser surgery uses laser beams to remove acrochorda, while surgical excision is the conventional method of removing the outgrowth with the help of a scalpel and other surgical instruments.

Skin Tag Removal at Home

Due to the cost involved with the medical procedures employed for skin tag removal, many individuals look for some home remedies for this condition. One common practice is to tie the tag tightly at the stalk or the peduncle, and then cut it off with a sharp scissor.
However, the scissor should be properly washed and sterilized with the help of alcohol. Rarely, cutting the skin tag may result in serious bleeding or an infection, and so, it is not advisable to remove skin tags with this method. Instead, you can try the following home remedies for skin tag removal.

Tie the Skin Tag with Dental Floss

This process is called ligation, wherein the skin tag is tied with a small piece of thread or dental floss at the base or the stalk for a few days. This cuts off the supply of blood to the area, and thus, helps destroy the tissues. After a few days, the color of the skin tag would change, and it would dry out and fall off on its own.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can also help get rid of skin tags. Apply apple cider vinegar 2 to 3 times a day on the acrochordon, with the help of a cotton ball. Continue to apply cider vinegar for a few weeks until the tag darkens and falls off.

Try the Duct Tape Method

This is one of the most popular methods for skin tag removal. The tag needs to be completely covered with a piece of duct tape. The duct tape should be allowed to stay on the tag for 2 to 3 days, until it loosens.
Once the tape loosens, you can check the skin tag to find out whether it has also loosened or fallen off. If the skin tag is still there, apply a new piece of duct tape on it. Keep the tape intact until the skin tag weakens and falls off.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can also help remove skin tags. First, clean the skin tag with clean water, and then apply about 1 to 3 drops of tea tree oil on it. Use a Q-tip or cotton swab to rub the skin tag with the oil.
Do this at least 3 times a day till the skin tag falls off. Some people may experience skin irritation while applying tea tree oil directly on the skin. So, you can dilute the oil with water (in the ratio of 1:1), before applying it on the skin.

Castor Oil and Baking Soda

Baking soda and castor oil are used by many people for skin tag removal. You can mix both castor oil and baking soda to make a fine paste, and then coat the skin tag completely with the paste. Apply the paste on the tag 2 to 3 times a day.
This simple home remedy can help dry out the skin tag gradually. You can also cover the tag with a small bandage after applying the paste, in order to make this remedy more effective.

Vitamin E oil and Band-aid

Take a vitamin E capsule and break it open. Apply the vitamin E oil to the skin tag and the surrounding area, and then cover the tag with a small band-aid. The band-aid helps cut off the supply of blood to the tag.
So, keep it on the tag for several days, and then check if it has fallen off. If it hasn't, then apply some more vitamin E oil on the tag and the surrounding skin, and cover the tag with another band-aid. Vitamin E helps heal the surrounding skin when the skin tag is being sloughed off.
Many people use nail polish for skin tag removal. However, this remedy should never be used for removing tags that grow on the eyelids or other sensitive areas. Sometimes, removing skin tags at home may pose some risks, especially if you try to cut or tie it tightly with a thread, which can cause an infection and bleeding at times.
Moreover, certain other skin conditions like moles, seborrheic keratosis, warts, and melanomas may be confused with skin tags. So, it is advisable to consult a physician to distinguish skin tags from other skin conditions, and get them removed safely.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice.