What the Heck Are They?
Skin tags are actually benign tumors, but don’t let the word “tumor” scare you – they’re usually completely harmless. Generally, they’re caused by skin rubbing against skin. Though tags can vary in size, they’re generally about the size of a grain of rice.
Where Are They Found?
These can develop in many places on the body, but are often found where there are natural folds in the skin, i.e. on the eyelids, neck, groin, armpits and under breasts.
Is It Normal to Have Them?
Skin tags are actually very common. In fact, nearly everyone will develop at least one skin tag in their lives. So if you’re frustrated with the development of these pesky tags on your skin, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Some people are definitely more prone to developing skin tags (middle-aged and elderly people who are obese are more likely to get these). But some people are just prone to them in general.
So How Do We Get Rid of Them?
We should start by saying that since skin tags are benign, treatment isn’t necessary at all. But if they become irritated, maybe by jewelry, clothing or shaving, then you should always consult with a dermatologist or doctor first. This is also the case if you’re not sure that what you have is a skin tag. As with any troublesome spot or growth on your skin, it’s always best to see your doctor before trying to self-diagnosis or self-treatment.
If you’re just annoyed by the appearance of your skin tags, then there are definitely some easy removal methods you can try. Here are a few tried-and-true ways to get rid of them:
- Recommended: Doctor or Dermatologist:The quickest and safest way to remove skin tags is to have them cut off by a dermatologist. If you multiple skin tags or skin tags that are in tricky spots like on the eye lid this is your best option. You Doctor or Dermatologist will also be able to confirm if it is in fact a skin tag. This is a quick and relatively painless procedure. I had a bunch of skin tags removed and it goes very quickly. One thing to keep in mind is that skin tag removal is most likely considered cosmetic so may not be covered by your insurance. However, if you just have one or two skin tags you may be able to get your doctor to remove them as part of a regular check-up or physical.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:Simply soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply to the skin tag, directly, 3 times a day. Repeat this every day (usually takes up to 2-3 weeks) until skin tag falls off painlessly.
- Duct Tape:Completely cover the tag with a piece of duct tape. Keep it there until you notice the tape start to loosen. When it does, check to see if the tag has also loosened. Repeat this method, replacing the tape, until the tag falls off with the tape.
- Vitamin E and Band-Aids:Crack open a vitamin E capsule and rub the liquid all over the skin tag. Then cover the skin tag with a band-aid. Leave it be for several days before checking if tag has fallen off. Repeat as necessary until it falls off.
- Tea Tree Oil:Wash and dry the tag thoroughly. Then apply 1-3 drops of tea tree oil to the skin tag with a cotton swab. Do this 3 times a dry until the tag darkens and eventually falls off.
- Nail Clippers and Alcohol:This one sounds a little painful, but has also been used to great effect. Make sure you sterilize your nail clippers before attempting this. Basically, you use the clippers to clip the clear skin on top of your skin tag. Then, take a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball and apply to tag. Your tag may bleed a bit, but since there are no nerves in skin tags, it shouldn’t be too painful.
- Dental Floss:This method will temporarily block blood flow to the skin tag, eventually killing it completely. Just grab a piece of dental floss, tie it around the skin tag, and pull lightly. Don’t be too aggressive with this – you just want to pull little by little every day. After trying this for a couple of days, the color of the tag will start to change. And a few days after this, it should just dry up and fall off.
Skin Tag Myths That Just Aren’t True
If you’ve heard any of these myths about skin tags, just call “bologna” and disregard them!
- The removal of skin tags will cause more tags to grow.This is just false. If more tags grow in the area of removal, it just means that area is prone to skin tags. More growth has nothing to do with the removal process.
- Skin tags can be cancerous.Nope. Skin tags are benign growths and do not cause pain or damage. If you’re not sure that what you have is a skin tag, however, you should of course consult your doctor or dermatologist.
- Skin tags only occur in elderly and obese people.Younger (and thinner) people can easily develop these as well. In these cases, growing skin tags would be more about genetics than the friction caused by skin rubbing together.