What are skin tags? The name comes from the fact that they are tag-like projections from the skin that have the same color as the surrounding skin. Skin tags can grow to sizes of up to 4.5 cm and connect to the skin through a thin root, or stalk. They most often are small and are unique in the fact that they usually are fleshy and soft. They should not be confused with skin fungus infections or warts. They either form as individual tags or in clusters.
You will not develop cancer from these tags, nor will they pose any major health-related risk even when left untreated. However, they can progressively develop to become a nuisance and in many cases may ruin skin texture. There are various ways of removing skin tags, most of which are discussed in this article, along with what causes skin tags.
What causes skin tags especially tags on the face?
Any part of the body prone to friction, either from clothing or from other body parts, is prone to developing these tags. Almost all cases of tags on the skin can be traced back to friction, from body parts and clothing. Tags on the face may occur below the eyelids, at the back of the ears and in neck areas.
Studies have shown that the risk of getting tags on the face or any other body part increases with age. In fact, it is almost a guarantee that you will develop a skin tag at least once if not several times in your life. Additionally, you are likely to develop tags on your skin if you are obese or even just overweight. This is because overweight people have a larger likelihood of having their body parts and clothing cause friction.
Anal skin tags have been linked to a genetic disorder known as Crohn’s disease. In some cases, changes in the levels of hormones in pregnant women also bring about skin tags on the nipple. At any rate, it is best that everyone learns the best treatment and skin tag removal products.
Best treatment for skin tags; how to remove skin tags
You can leave the tags alone if they do not irritate you or cause changes to your skin color. Still, you may want to consider having them removed in a clinic or just remove the tags at home yourself. Be careful if you decide to remove tags yourself. If irritated or worked on for a long time, tags can become infected and very painful as well.
There are three main solutions on how to get rid of skin tags the quick way.
- Simple surgery – This requires that a doctor carry out the procedure. A simple skin tag removal kit is all that is required. You may be administered a local aesthetic and then tag will be removed. This is a quick option for skin tag treatment.
- Freezing – A skin tag is usually fleshy, a feature that makes them easily treatable through freezing. You will need to buy a skin tag removal kit, one which is equipped with a specialized solution for freezing skin tags. For example, ‘Compound W Freeze’ is very effective and can be accessed even over the counter.
- Burning – This method works best for small tags. A current-carrying wire is made to get slightly hot, and then used to cut off the thin stalk attaching the tag to the skin. It is a quick way to treat tags and also prevent bleeding.
For a small tag not occurring in a group, you may be advised to remove it with string. The approach is simple. You are only required to tie the base stalk of the tag with a string and leave the tag to fall off on its own after several days. It is the best natural way of removing skin tags. You can also consider cutting off the skin tag using a sharp and sterilized pair of scissors. Some people prefer to purchase a fully equipped tag removal kit at retailers like CVS and Walmart. Such kits can also be accessed over the counter.
Don’t attempt to remove the tags at home if there are a lot of them or the tags are large in size. It will invite a lot of bleeding and possible infection.
5 home remedies to remove skin tags at home
Skin tags can keep on coming back, to the point that you be forced to find a natural way to remove them quickly. It can also be that the infestation is not so severe as to require visiting a doctor. Either way, getting the right home remedy removal for skin tags is an effective way to go about tag treatment.
Below is a list of skin tag removal products that may work if you decide to remove tags yourself.
- Tea tree oil – Its anti-bacterial properties have been known for a long time. It is one of the most active home removal products for skin tags. In fact, this product can also be used to treat various other skin disorders.
- Garlic – This is another great herb with very active medicinal properties. In fact, you can use it as a removal home remedy for warts as well as tags. It is important that you learn the right way to use garlic as a treatment for tags. This is because it contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that are helpful especially when removing tags on the face, skin tags on the penis and from other sensitive areas.
- Apple cider vinegar – Most users prefer this product due to its anti-bacterial properties and its ability to remove inflammations. It works by dehydrating the tag continuously until the tag dries out and falls off the skin on its own. Even better, it will not take you more than three days, if you make good use of this removal home remedy to get rid of an irritating skin tag. It arguably is the best home remedy to quickly remove skin tags.
- Vitamin E and coconut oil – Vitamin E belongs to a category of important compounds known as anti-oxidants. There are very essential for healthy skin and as removal remedies for common skin infections. You can buy vitamin E oil over the counter or even in retailers like CVS and Walmart. Much the same goes for coconut oil.
- Iodine – Iodine is known to dry off parts of the skin it is applied to and make them fall off after several applications. It is for this reason that it can be used as a remedy for removing skin tags. Here, it is important that you specifically apply the iodine only on the tag and not the surrounding parts of the skin.
Most of the products above can be accessed over the counter or in retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and others. However, it is important that you learn exactly how they should be used, to avoid any unwanted repercussions. Most importantly, don’t keep disturbing the tags as they will just get worse.
Discontinue the use of any removal products which may be causing irritation or allergic reactions on your skin. Alternatively, switch to gentler remedies like coconut oil and vitamin E oil. This is especially important if you are treating tags on the penis, vaginal area or anus; remember that even when left alone, skin tags will not cause any serious health-related effects.
All the same, consult a qualified dermatologist if the situation gets out of hand. This is especially when it gets to a point of getting open wounds or a skin tag developing into a possibly infectious wound. This might act as an entry point for bacteria and fungi.
How to remove skin tags with string
You may be interested on how to remove skin tags with string. True, it is one of the removal methods that will cause you fewer scars, no bleeding, and it is a fast way to remove the tags.
The method is most recommended for tags with a thin stalk connecting them to the skin. Here is a step by step guide to remove with string.
- Use a disinfectant, preferably isopropyl alcohol, to sterilize the part of the skin where a tag has developed. You will be mostly interested in the base where the stalk attaches to the skin.
- Disinfect a thread, one you already have prepared to tie to the tag’s stalk.
- Tie the thread as close to the point where the tag attaches to the skin as possible. Make sure that the thread remains uncontaminated.
- Tighten the knot on the tag’s stalk. Ensure that the grip will not loosen with time by tying a second loop to the same.
- Cut off the excess parts of the thread. It is better if you can have someone else do it for you, especially with tags occurring on the neck, armpits and such areas.
- Give it time. The tag will fall off the skin by itself. It might take some time before this happens. Remember that the thread is meant to limit the supply of nutrients to the cells in the tag.
- Keep applying disinfectant to the tied-off area. When the tag falls off, cover the affected area with a bandage till it heals over.
Best Over the counter skin tag removal products
In the list above for the best skin tag removal products, the several products and essential oils for skin tags discussed can be found in different forms. Most of them are actually available even without a prescription. If you were to run a simple search on the internet on over the counter products to remove tags, moles or even warts, countless hits would be returned. But it isn’t that simple to choose one that will actually work and remove the tags quickly. Below are some tips that will help you settle on the right product that will definitely work.
- Get familiar with the directions provided by the ICD-10. There, you will learn more about classification of skin tags, the cost of treating them and the right remedies to be used in treatment.
- Buy your products from trusted retailers like Walmart or CVS. This is helpful in case you do not have clear information on what is contained in a particular remedy.
- If you have sufficient information on how a product works, you can buy it over the counter at any pharmacy. Make sure to check the list of ingredients, just to ensure that it is the real product that you are buying.
- Read through various customer testimonials and product reviews to get a glimpse of what is expected from the effects of the tag removal product you are about to buy.
- The list provided above of the best removal products for skin tags can be very helpful if used appropriately. Ensure that in the list of the ingredients making up a particular product, at least one or two of the above products appear as a feature.
- Do not buy some home remedies or herbal products claiming to heal skin tags the natural way if there have no documented research findings to support the claim.
- Consider buying a removal kit, as it can prove such a helpful removal home remedy for tags.
Facts about skin tags and treatment that everyone should know
It is not likely that you go through your whole life without getting skin tags. Here are the facts you should know about them and how to treat them.
- Friction from other body parts and clothing are not the only causes of tags. They can also run in the family.
- The risk of developing them increases with age.
- They can be treated easily. Treatment can be done at home with the right remedies, or in a clinic.
- The armpits, neck, genital areas, and eyelids are the most commonly affected parts of the body. However, tags can develop on any part of your body. It is just there is more susceptibility to friction and heat in the identified parts.
- They are not scabies symptoms. Scabies, moles, warts are all different in their own ways. In fact, there are very many forms of skin lesions and infections, all which might be wrongly confused with one another.
- Tags will not develop into cancer even when left untreated. In fact, they will not develop into anything serious even without treatment. In some cases, they can go unnoticed for a long time.
How much does treatment for skin tags cost?
Here, the cost discussed is made up of the clinical fees you will be required to pay for removing skin tags in a hospital. Of course you can remove them at home, as discussed earlier in this article. All the same, large or clustered tags should be removed in a clinic.
It probably will not cost you more than $350 or less than $150 to have skin tags completely removed from your skin. You can expect to pay anything between the above quoted amounts, which will only cover doctor’s fees. Additional costs may be incurred depending on the following factors:
- Extra health complications might raise the cost. For example, if you have other skin infections like lesions and warts, it may force the doctor to deal with the infection first. Also, if earlier attempts to get rid of the tags have ended up complicating the issue even more, the cost for a clinical treatment may end up hiking a little bit.
- Is the surgery covered by your insurance? If not, you can have your doctor write a recommendation to the insurance provider, which will have the surgery treated as a medical treatment and not as a cosmetic operation.
- What is your current location? Health policies differ from place to place. You find that people in less developed areas have fewer options to choose from and may end up being charged more even for minor operations.
- Some people prefer to get anesthesia administered even when getting a simple surgery. Since it is not a part of normal skin tag surgeries, it will come at an additional cost.