Skin tags are very common growths forming within the armpits, skin folds of the neck, groin area, etc. these growths are basically loose collagen fibers that lodge beneath the thicker areas of our skin. These skin tags, though do not cause any complications requiring any medical treatments, can be really bothersome at times.
They look similar to a small, soft balloon and can vary in number from one to even a hundred. Some skin tags might fall off naturally, while some might stay and irritate you for longer. These typically range from 2-5 mm to 1-2 cm in diameter. Also known by the name of skin tags or warts, these are benign (non-cancerous) and painless growths in the skin.
Some major body parts where skin tags grow are:
- Folds of the groin
- Neck region
While the exact cause of skin tags is still not known in medical science, they are generally observed more in middle-aged and overweight people. An elevation in hormones has also been observed to be linked with more number of skin tags, for example in pregnant women.
Also, certain skin problems and conditions might look like skin tags but are not. These include moles, cysts, neurofibromas, seborrheic keratoses, etc.
How to remove skin tags?
Skin tags, though harmless, might be wanted to be removed, generally because they might affect your appearance when they are on visible parts of the body. If you visit a doctor, you might have the option of getting your skin tags treated by any of the following processes:
- Surgical removal
Home remedies for skin tags
If you do not want to visit the doctor, here are some natural remedies that you can try yourself at home. Though doctors do not advise removing skin tags yourself, you can go for some harmless remedies. And, you can obviously always visit the doctor when you think the situation is serious or the skin tag is quite large in size.
Have a look at some of these remedies:
1. Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil has abundant antifungal and antiviral properties and is used on the skin widely for different purposes. If you want to use this oil for removing skin tags, use a cotton swab to massage your affected area gently with the oil. After doing this, you can also place a bandage over the area for the night.
Repeat the same process for some nights. The skin tag will eventually dry and fall off from its place.
However, tea tree oil might irritate in some cases wherein the skin is sensitive, so it would be better not to use this in very sensitive areas of the skin like the eyelids.
2. Apple cider vinegar:
The process of using apple cider vinegar for removing skin tags is similar to using tea tree oil. Take a cotton swab, massage the area and use a bandage to cover the affected skin for around 10-15 minutes. You can follow this process twice to thrice a day, for better results, until the skin tag eventually falls off after some days.
However, it is a known fact that vinegar is acidic and might cause irritation or even burns in some cases. Hence, if you experience any sort of side effects by using apple cider vinegar, you must be careful enough and stop using it.
Garlic has been a home remedy for quite a lot of things, and we are sure you must have heard of some of these. It helps in reducing inflammation of the skin and is thus a useful remedy for skin tags.
All you need to do is apply crushed garlic over your skin tag, and use a bandage to cover that area overnight. Wash the entire area the next morning, and repeat the process for some days, until the tag dries and falls off.
Iodine might react to different skins differently, and hence it is advisable to protect the skin around the tag by applying coconut oil or petroleum jelly, before using iodine.
The best way is to soak a Q-tip in iodine and spread it throughout the entire area where your skin tag is spread. You can try this process twice a day.
5. Aloe vera juice:
The benefits of aloe vera for the skin are widely known and appreciated. One such benefit is getting rid of skin tags, due to their antioxidant and wound-healing properties.
Like all the other remedies, you need to clean the affected area.
Massage some amount of aloe vera juice or gel on the entire area for a couple of minutes and repeat the process 2-3 times a day.
6. Removal creams:
Removal creams are effective in removing skin tags in some people, however, you have to be very careful about the ingredients that your removal cream consists of. This is because some ingredients like salicylic acid might cause irritation or dermatitis in a lot of people.
Different creams have different procedures for removing skin tags, and hence it is advisable to always look at the set of instructions that need to be followed to apply the cream. Applying these might generally take 2-3 weeks for the skin tags to eventually fall off.
7. Banana peel:
Clean the area. Take a small banana peel, apply the peel’s white side to the area, and cover with a bandage. Leave the bandage on the area overnight, and repeat the process for some nights until the skin tag shrinks and falls off.
Banana peel is actually one of the most effective home remedies for skin tags, and entirely safe as well. Hence, we would really recommend you to try this one.
This is all about skin tags and some natural, home remedies that you can follow to get rid of your skin tags on your own. However, we would certainly advise you to refrain from using any harmful or painful methods like cutting or clipping, which might lead to adverse effects. In serious situations, you must always visit your dermatologist.