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How to Remove Skin Tags

Reshma Jirage

Did You Know?

Skin tags are more common in women than men. Overweight people or people with diabetes are at a higher risk of skin tags, as are pregnant women and individuals infected with HPV. Use of bodybuilding steroids can also trigger the growth of tags.
Skin tags are formed due to overgrowth of the outer layer of skin. They appear as fleshy, small growths, which extend from the skin. They are connected to skin by a thin stalk. They are mainly found in the areas of skin folds such as armpits, neck, chest, below the breasts, eyelids, and even in the groin area.
They are also called fibroepithelial polyps, acrochordons or cutaneous papilloma. Skin tags develop from the growth of unwanted tissues and they are considered to be small tumors. They are generally benign and harmless, but they can affect the appearance of a person.
Skin tags vary in shape and color. Some tags are smooth, while some are bumpy and irregular. Some tags are flesh-colored, while some have pigments, due to which they differ from rest of the skin. Usually, skin tags grow up to ½ inch long and then, they stop growing. Skin tags are more common in women than men. Overweight people or people with diabetes are at a higher risk of skin tags.

Removing Skin Tags

Skin tags are one of the most common skin problems faced by adults. They are generally painless, but if rubbed against clothes or jewelry, they may get irritated and become painful. It may lead to scrapes and infections.
Although skin tags are harmless, they are bothersome for cosmetic reasons, if present on the eyelids or other places on the face. Hence, they need to be removed. There are a number of safe and effective methods to remove them, the most preferred ones being discussed below.

Clinical Remedies

When you notice the skin tags, it is better to consult your physician. There are several different options to effectively remove skin tags forever, such as snipping them off with scissors, removing with a scalpel, freezing with liquid nitrogen and burning with electricity.


Snipping the tags off using scissors is a simple and effective method to get rid of skin tags. However, you should get it done by a skilled doctor. In this method, the skin is numbed and tags are removed using sharp, sterilized, surgical scissors. For tags that are difficult to remove with scissors, a scalpel can be used.


Skin tags can be burnt with electricity. This method is known as electrocauterization, in which electric current is used to burn away the tags. Laser surgery is another effective option for skin tag removal.


Freezing the tags with liquid nitrogen is another effective method. This procedure is referred to as cryosurgery. Liquid nitrogen is an extremely cold substance and when it comes in contact with skin, it can destroy the skin tissues.
It can be used to remove the skin tags by destroying the tissues that compose it. However, you should make sure the liquid nitrogen does not touch the surrounding skin.

Home Remedies

You can try some simple home remedies to get rid of skin tags. The following tips would help:-
  • Tie a dental floss or a piece of thread tightly around the base of tags. Then, cut the tags above the thread or floss, using disinfected sharp scissors or nail clipper.
After removing the tag, thoroughly clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and apply antibacterial ointment. Keep applying such an ointment till the tag is completely healed.
  • You can also simply leave the floss or thread around the tags. It will cut off the blood supply to the tags and within 2 days, they will shrivel and fall off.
  • Another method is to apply a mixture of baking soda and castor oil. Apply a thick paste of this mixture on the skin tags regularly. Within 2 weeks, the tags would dry up and, eventually, disappear. Some people use over-the-counter solutions that are designed to remove warts. These products are also effective in removing skin tags.
  • Skin tags can be removed with topical treatment, using some herbal extracts such as tea tree oil or castor oil. This gentle treatment targets only the tissues of tags and destroys them without harming the surrounding skin.
  • Another simple way to remove skin tags is to apply a fingernail polish. Cover the tag with a nail polish twice a day. As the nail polish dried out, the skin tag will begin to shrink and then disappear within 2 weeks.
  • Apply Vitamin E oil or vitamin E capsule on a Band-Aid and tape it on the skin tag. Within a couple of days, the tag will fall off. Another method is to cover the tag with a piece of duct tape. Leave the tape until the tag falls off.
  • A paste made from bloodroot plant parts is also considered as an extremely effective remedy for getting rid of skin tags. All you need to do is smear this paste on a Band-Aid and apply on the skin tag. However, bloodroot paste often irritates the surrounding skin as well, so extreme caution must be exercised while using it.
Before trying these remedies, consult a dermatologist to know about the risks and precautions to be taken while applying these remedies. Once the skin tags are removed, they don't grow back on the same site. They may appear on other body parts. However, you can remove them by using any of these effective methods.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.