An example of many skin tags in one location
Skin tags are benign growths of excess skin. These frequently occur near folds of skin such as the armpits, neck, or inner thighs. Because of the potential for a more serious, underlying medical problem, people are advised to seek professional treatment for skin tags, even if they look benign. The strategies outlined for home removal are for reference only, and should not be undertaken without consulting a medical professional.
Methods of Removal
A skin tag can be removed by several methods–cutting off the blood supply, depriving it of air, applying a mild acidic substance or removal with a sharp object. Cutting off the blood supply of the skin tag, as well as removal with a sharp object are not recommended home remedies because improper sterilization of the tools, as well as the area, may lead to an infection at the site of the skin tag.
Mild acidic substances, such as apple cider vinegar, can be applied daily to the affected area. Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and cover the skin tag with it. Allow it to sit for three or four hours, then wash with warm tap water. The skin tag, as well as the area around it, will become swollen. Occasionally, if the skin tag is small enough, one application of apple cider vinegar will be enough to cause the tag to fall off completely, while more persistent skin tags can require a week or more of at home treatment.
Apple cider vinegar is just one of many acidic preparations that can be applied this way. The same claims have been made about tea tree oil, castor oil, and even crushed aspirin, which contains acetylsalicylic acid.
Cutting off Circulation
The removal of blood supply involves tying a piece of string or dental floss around the skin tag until it shrivels up and falls off due to to lack of circulation. This is both painful and risky, as the area around the skin tag may become inflamed and irritated as a result of treatment. With this method, the thread is tied tightly around the skin tag and left there for several days. This method has been reported by users to work within three to 10 days.
Asphyxiation means to kill something by depriving it of oxygen. This can be accomplished by applying a solid, non-porous barrier to the skin tag. Nail polish, duct tape and Band-Aid brand Liquid Bandage have all been used as home remedies for skin tags with some degree of success. This method takes anywhere between four and 10 days, and the seal must be airtight.
Using this method of skin tag removal is painless and relatively safe with regards to sanitation and sterilization. Over the counter wart removal products often do the same thing and are an alternative to the methods mentioned above.