Although they are painless and don’t pose a threat to your health, skin tags are not very aesthetically pleasing, to say the least. What’s more, they usually pop up on your neck or your armpits, which may cause problems while shaving.
As a rule, removing skin tags is something dermatologists can do in just minutes. But if for some reason you’d like to avoid going to the doctor, there are a few easy and painless ways to do it safely at home.
In this article, we’ll talk about the five best home remedies for safe skin tag removal. But first, here are a few important things you should know about skin tags.
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What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags are small, skin-colored growths attached to the skin by a soft, elongated stalk called a peduncle. They usually appear in areas where your skin folds – armpits, neck, eyelids, thighs, and groin.
They can vary in size but usually range between 1mm and 5mm in diameter. And even though they share some visual similarities with moles, skin tags are not cancerous.
For most people, skin tags are a natural part of the aging process. While they may appear at any age, they are particularly common in people over the age of 50.
What Causes Skin Tags?
The exact cause of skin tags is still unknown.
Because they tend to pop up in places where the skin folds, experts believe friction plays a part in their formation. According to research, the human papillomavirus (HPV) can also be a contributing factor.
Several skin tags can sometimes appear at the same time on different parts of your body. Scientists have found that this may be due to insulin resistance, which is common in people with type 2 diabetes.
How Can You Remove Skin Tags?
Depending on their size and location, skin tags will sometimes rub off and disappear over time. Since they’re harmless, there’s no medical need for their removal, but you might want to get rid of them for cosmetic reasons.
Your dermatologist can usually remove the problematic skin tag fast without the need for anesthesia.
Some websites also give tips on how to snip skin tags on your own using sterilized scalpels, scissors, and antibiotics. No matter how much you want to get rid of skin tags – don’t ever try this!
Just like you wouldn’t cut your own hair with scissors, you shouldn’t attempt to “surgically” remove skin tags from your own body, either. If you do, the affected area could start bleeding and might even get infected.
Home Remedies for Safe Skin Tag Removal
If for any reason you don’t want to go to your dermatologist, you can try one of these five great home remedies. They are natural, easy to use, and allow for safe and non-invasive removal of skin tags.
1. Tea Tree Oil
To get rid of a problematic skin tag using tree oil, do the following:
- Step 1: Put 6-8 drops of the oil on a cotton ball.
- Step 2: Apply the cotton ball to the skin tag.
- Step 3: Use a bandage to secure the cotton ball.
- Step 4: Leave it on for 15 minutes before removing it.
You should repeat this process at least two or three times a day until the skin tag finally falls off. It may take a few days or even a few weeks for this to happen, but it’s certainly less scary than going to a doctor and having it snipped.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been a popular home remedy for generations. People have used it not only for skin care but for a number of other health problems, as well.
Due to its strong antibacterial properties, people have used it to disinfect wounds for more than two millennia. Research has also found it effective against various other pathogens, including the fungi that can cause foot problems.
On top of that, apple cider vinegar can also improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. And since insulin resistance is one of the possible causes of skin tags, apple cider vinegar is among the best natural remedies for their removal.
Here’s what you should do to remove skin tags using apple cider vinegar:
- Step 1: Take a cotton ball and soak it in apple cider vinegar.
- Step 2: Apply the soaked cotton ball to the skin tag.
- Step 3: Secure it with a bandage.
- Step 4: Leave it on for 20 minutes.
Directly applying too much apple cider vinegar may cause skin irritation in some people. That’s why you must check your skin for signs of irritation as soon as you remove the cotton ball.
If there aren’t any, you can carry on applying it twice daily – once during the day and then again in the evening. When you secure the cotton ball with a bandage in the evening, you can leave it on overnight and then take it off in the morning.
After a few days, the skin tag may start changing its color. This lets you know that the skin tag is slowly dying off and that the treatment is successful.
Garlic is one of the world’s most potent superfoods that packs numerous health benefits. They all stem from allicin, an active compound with great medicinal properties.
Like apple cider vinegar, garlic has strong antimicrobial effects and is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. It fights colds, protects the brain from mental decline, and can help you keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
To remove a skin tag, take one large clove of garlic and do the following:
- Step 1: Crush or cut the clove to release allicin.
- Step 2: Apply the crushed garlic to the skin tag.
- Step 3: Secure it with a bandage.
- Step 4: Leave it on overnight.
- Step 5: Wash and dry your skin after removing it.
Like the previous two methods, this can take up to a few weeks to work. For best results, make sure to apply the garlic compress tightly and don’t take it off for at least six or seven hours.
4. Topical Vitamin E
Vitamin E is essential to skin health, which is why many skincare products nowadays incorporate it. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant and slows the aging of the skin by targeting harmful free radicals.
It also hydrates the skin, thus allowing it to retain optimum amounts of moisture. On top of that, it helps wound healing, reduces the symptoms of eczema, and may also help treat psoriasis.
Many people have used topical vitamin E to remove skin tags. To achieve the desired effect, make sure to buy a bottle of high-quality vitamin E oil that doesn’t contain any preservatives or fillers.
Once you’ve found the perfect vitamin E oil, here’s what you should do:
- Step 1: Apply the oil to the skin tag.
- Step 2: Cover the area with plastic wrap to keep the oil in.
- Step 3: Secure everything with a bandage.
- Step 4: Leave it on overnight.
Vitamin E oil achieves its effect by cutting off air from the skin tag. With regular use, the skin tag will start changing its color before it eventually falls off.
5. Castor Oil and Baking Soda
Castor oil is a yellow liquid produced from the seeds of the so-called “castor-oil-plant.” Due to its proven anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and moisturizing effects, it has found great use in skincare.
Baking soda also has anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties, which is why many people use it to treat acne and various skin irritations.
Together, these two ingredients make up an effective natural remedy for skin tags. Here’s how you should use them:
- Step 1: Put 1/3 baking soda and 2/3 castor oil into a small container.
- Step 2: Mix them until they form a paste.
- Step 3: Take a small amount of paste and rub it gently across the skin tag.
- Step 4: Cover the area of the skin with plastic wrap to keep the mixture in.
- Step 5: Secure it all with a bandage.
- Step 6: Leave it on overnight.
- Step 7: Remove the bandage in the morning and rinse the mixture off with water.
Alternatively, you can apply this mixture three times a day for 30-60 minutes at a time instead of leaving it overnight. No matter what method you opt for, it could take a couple of weeks for the skin tag to finally fall off.
Not only are skin tags normal but they’re also very common. Still, if you want to remove them safely and pain-free at home, any of these natural remedies could work.
Removing skin tags this way could take up to two or three weeks, so patience is mandatory. To achieve the desired results, simply follow our tips and make sure to apply the remedy according to the instructions we’ve outlined.