Skin tags are also known as acrochordons. They are usually harmless, benign growths. This means they are not cancerous.
You can remove skin tags. However, there is usually no medical reason to do this.
Skin tags can be irritating. This might make you wonder if it’s okay to delete them yourself. Doctors do not recommend doing this. There are potential risks and complications with self-excision.
It’s best to have your dermatologist examine and remove the tags on your skin. This way it can be done safely. Your dermatologist can also make sure your skin isn’t actually a more serious type of growth.
This article looks at skin tags and why you might want to remove them. It also compares removal at home with removal by a doctor.
Reasons to remove skin tags
Skin tags aren’t usually bothersome, but they can still bother you. You may want to delete them for a number of reasons, including:
- They can stick to clothing or jewelry
- Sometimes they can bleed
- They can look unsightly
Insurance for skin tag removal
Unless skin tags are harmful to your physical or mental health, their removal is usually not covered by insurance. This is because the procedure is considered cosmetic. You’ll usually have to out-of-pocket to get rid of them.
See a dermatologist before removing your skin tag. It is important to make sure the lesion is not a form of skin cancer.
Methods and requirements at home
There are different home remedies to get rid of skin bumps. Some people believe these methods work, but the evidence is still mixed.
At-home removal techniques include the following.
There is no scientific evidence that toothpaste can safely or effectively remove skin tags.
Skin tag removal tape
This method is called tie. The tape is wrapped around the body of the skin tag. This cuts off the blood supply, causing the skin’s cells to die.
After this treatment, the skin tag can easily be twisted or pulled out.
Belting is sometimes done by dermatologists. It is not recommended to remove skin tags at home.
Skin tag stickers
An over-the-counter (OTC) skin patch is applied to the skin tag. When you remove the sticker, the skin tag will appear.
Experts say this is not very effective. It can also cause skin irritation.
Skin mark removal cream
This cream contains tea tree oil and salicylic acid. These ingredients may cause skin irritation.
Skin creams can cause a type of dermatitis or skin inflammation known as contact dermatitis. This type of dermatitis is caused by direct contact with an irritant.
OTC freezing kits contain chemicals that lower the temperature of the skin tag. Low heat destroys unwanted skin tissue.
Unfortunately, these OTC kits don’t bring the temperature down enough. It may take some apps before they work.
Dermatologists use liquid nitrogen. This produces much lower temperatures and is much more efficient.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This involves soaking a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar. The cotton swab is placed over the skin tag with a small bandage.
This method is said to take two weeks to work. Unfortunately, there isn’t much scientific evidence that this works.
Tea tree oil
This includes applying tea tree oil to a cotton ball and placing it on the skin. The cotton pad is secured with a small piece of tape. Tea tree oil is reapplied several times a day until the skin peels off.
This method is said to take up to several weeks to work. How long it takes depends on the size and location of the card.
Experts warn some people have allergic skin reactions to tea tree oil.
Do not cut or trim skin tags at home
Do not use nail clippers or a sharp instrument to cut the skin. Larger tags may bleed and may become infected. At the doctor’s office, the instruments are disinfected. The skin is also cleaned to reduce the risk of infection.
Risks of home removal
At-home exfoliation has risks, such as:
- Bleeding too much
If you’re sure you want to get rid of skin tags, talk to a dermatologist first. Make sure you know what the safest options are.
Removing your skin tags at home has some risks. This includes infection, scarring, and excessive bleeding.
Remove skin tags
Skin tags can be safely removed by a doctor. Professional skin tag removal may involve the following.
Removal with scalpel or scissors
The doctor uses a sterile technique to Cut out the skin tag. Generally, only smaller skin tags are removed this way.
The blade used is much sharper than the trimmer or scissors used at home. A chemical compound may be applied afterwards to reduce bleeding.
Cauterization or burning
Cauterization is when the skin tag is burned at its base. This is done with an electrical probe or needle that generates an electric current.
This method also seals the wound to prevent infection and bleeding.
Cryosurgery or cryosurgery
In cryosurgery, skin tags are frozen with liquid nitrogen. It takes about 10 days for the card to fall out after that.
Liquid nitrogen can cause a burning sensation when applied.
A dermatologist can remove your skin with surgical scissors or a scalpel. Cauterization and cryosurgery are other potential methods.
Skin tag removal after care
How you take care of your skin after skin tag removal depends on the method used. You may be asked to keep the area clean and dry. If so, wash gently once or twice a day and pat dry.
If the skin tag has been cut, you may be asked to keep the bandage on for a few days. In some cases, you may be asked to leave the wound undressed. Your doctor may also recommend an antibiotic ointment.
Larger wounds may require stitches. Your doctor will tell you how to care for stitches and wounds. Usually, you’ll need to keep the stitched area clean and covered for the first 24 to 48 hours.
If your skin was removed by cryosurgery or cauterization and the area rubs against your clothing, you may need a bandage.
Avoid products that can slow healing, such as:
- Skin cleanser
- Antibacterial soap
Skin tags are usually harmless, benign growths. There is usually no medical reason to have them removed.
However, you may find them uncomfortable or unattractive. You may be tempted to get rid of them at home. Doing this can be risky. You may experience bleeding, infection, and scarring.
It is best to have the skin tag removed professionally. This will reduce the risk and ensure that the growth is not a more serious problem like skin cancer.
The dermatologist will usually remove part of the skin with a scalpel or scissors, cauterization, or cryosurgery.
frequently asked Questions
How much does it cost to remove skin tags?
Skin tag removal usually costs around $100. Health insurance usually doesn’t cover skin tag removal unless the damage affects a person’s physical or mental health.
Is natural exfoliation effective?
There are many home remedies for removing skin tags that are said to be effective. This includes applying apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil. There is not enough scientific evidence to support these methods.
What causes skin tag growth?
Undefined reason. Skin usually forms in places where there is skin-to-skin friction, such as the armpits, groin or thighs, and under the breasts. Research suggests that diabetes, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genetics may play a role in their development in some people.
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