Skin tags are small, soft, skin-coloured growths on your skin. They can vary in colour and size – from a few millimetres up to 5cm wide.
Skin tags are usually found on the neck, armpits, around the groin, or under the breasts. They can also grow on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.
They can look like warts, but skin tags are usually:
- smooth and soft (warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface)
- knobbly and hang off the skin (warts are usually slightly raised or flat)
- not contagious (warts spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts)
Skin tags do not usually cause any pain or discomfort.
Skin Tag Causes
It is not clear exactly what causes skin tags, but it may happen when clusters of collagen and blood vessels become trapped inside thicker pieces of skin.
As they are more common in skin creases or folds, they may be mainly caused by skin rubbing against skin.
Some people appear to inherit an increased susceptibility to skin tags.
Skin tags affect people both males and females, but they happen more often during pregnancy, in people who are obese, and in people with diabetes.
They have been associated with hyperinsulinemia, when there is too much insulin circulating in the blood.
Risk factors for skin tags
Skin tags appear to be more common in:
- people who are overweight and obese
- those with diabetes
- women during pregnancy, possibly due to hormonal changes and high levels of growth factors
- those with some types of human papilloma virus (HPV)
- people with a sex-steroid imbalance, especially if there are changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone
- those whose close family members also have skin tags
Studies have found that skin tags are more likely to occur with:
- dyslipidemia, for example, high cholesterol levels
- hypertension, or high blood pressure
They have also been linked to insulin resistance and elevated high-sensitive C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
This suggests that skin tags may offer an external sign of an increased risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
More rarely, skin tags are rarely associated with:
- Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
Birt-Hogg-Dubé (BHD) syndrome is a rare genetic condition characterized by skin tumors, including multiple fibrofolliculomas, trichodiscomas, and acrochordon, or skin tags. Carcinomas, or cancerous tumors, may also develop in the kidneys and colon.
Common Treatment For Skin Tag
As skin tags are usually harmless, removal is normally for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons.
Large skin tags, especially in areas where they may rub against something, such as clothing, jewelry or skin, may be removed due to irritation.
Removing a large skin tag from the face or under the arms can make shaving easier.
You shouldn’t have to live with moles or skin tags you don’t want on your body.
Why do so many people live with moles and skin tags on their bodies?
Well, until now most people believed expensive surgery was their only option. The procedure involves cutting or burning the mole or skin tag off the body. Depending on the size and location of the mole or skin on your body, It’s been described as a very painful procedure.
And as with most surgical procedures, you may up with a scar often worse than the mole or skin tag you had removed. See for yourself below…
The following procedures may be used:
- Cauterization: The skin tag is burned off using electrolysis
- Cryosurgery: The skin tag is frozen off using a probe containing liquid nitrogen
- Ligation: The blood supply to the skin tag is interrupted
- Excision: The tag is cut out with a scalpel
These procedures should only be done by a dermatologist, or specialist skin doctor, or a similarly trained medical professional.
Skin tags on the eyelid, especially those close to the eyelid margin, may have to be removed by an ophthalmologist, or specialist eye doctor.
5 Easy Ways To Remove Skin Tag At Home Safely
Some techniques for removing skin tags at home are more effective and safe than others. There are also plenty of products on the market for this purpose.
1 – Skin Tag Removal Bands and Patches
A skin tag removal band cuts off the supply of blood to the base of the skin tag. Without a supply of blood, the cells die, and the tag falls away. This process is known as ligation.
Removal patches contain medications. If a person leaves a patch on a tag for several days or weeks, the tag may come off.
2 – Removal Creams
These creams can be effective in some cases. You should avoid products that contain salicylic acid and tea tree oil because these ingredients can irritate the skin or cause contact dermatitis.
The instructions for using some of these creams recommend cleaning the skin with an alcohol wipe and filing down the tag before applying the cream to ensure that the skin fully absorbs it.
According to the labeling on some of these products, the skin tag should fall off within 2–3 weeks.
3 – Freezing Kits
In a clinical setting, healthcare professionals use liquid nitrogen to destroy unwanted skin tissue. This is known as cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy may involve temperatures of −320.8°F (-195°C). Benign lesions such as skin tags require temperatures of −4°F to −58°F.
As always, follow the instructions. People may need to apply the product several times before the growth falls away.
When using home freezing kits, avoid letting the spray touch the surrounding skin. Applying petroleum jelly to the area around the tag beforehand can help protect the skin.
4 – Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that may help treat several skin conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may help get rid of skin tags.
People who try it apply a few drops of the oil to a cotton ball, which they affix to the skin tag with a bandage. They leave the cotton ball on the skin tag for 10 minutes, three times a day. It may take several days or weeks for the tag to fall off.
However, a person should exercise caution, as tea tree oil can irritate sensitive skin. Do not use this oil on tags in the eye area.
5 – Natural Skin Tag Remover Serum
Skincell Pro is one of the best serums to remove skin tags yourself safely at home. Skincell Pro is a highly-concentrated liquid skin serum that helps to remove dead tissues from the skin and skin tags or moles effectively. According to the official website, the serum offers the best, safest, and most painless way to eliminate skin moles and tags over