Skin tags, do you have them? You’re not alone. Do you want to get rid of them? It’s not as simple as popping a pimple but it is absolutely possible to remove skin tags. In this article we’ll consider the basic facts of skin tags.
What Are Skin Tags?
Skin tags, sometimes called skin tabs, sometimes called body tags, medically referred to as acrochordon are small soft skin growths, not quite like moles or warts but more like little flaps of hanging skin. These are living growths with a blood supply and pain receptors so you can’t just pick them off without considerable pain and a bit of bleeding and even a risk of infection. Consequently it's a challenge to get rid of skin tags.
When Do Skin Tags Appear?
Skin tags can appear at most any age but usually don’t begin to show up until one is approaching 30 and most commonly make their presence known in middle age. However, sometimes, in some spots on the body, they can even appear on children. Anyone can get skin tags but they are especially common on those who are at least a somewhat overweight. Even if you just put on some extra weight temporarily the chances of developing skin tags raises significantly. However, they can still appear even on the most slender of bodies.
Where Do Skin Tags Grow?
Pretty much anywhere they like. The more common places they are found is wherever skin touches skin such as under the arms, under breasts, in the groin area, on the lower neck and around any folds of skin, including the eye lids. It is also not uncommon to have vaginal skin tags or a skin tags on the penis.
What Causes Skin Tags?
No one knows exactly. Again, body size and places where skin folds or touches other skin seems to have a lot to do with it but sometimes they grow in other places and situations just as well as people and many skin tag pictures will affirm.
Are Skin Tags Dangerous?
Not at all. They are perfectly benign. The only danger would be a possible infection if you try to cut or pick them off. You need to be careful in how you try to get rid of a skin tag. Although skin tags tend to grow in clusters they are not contagious nor pose any risk to anyone else.
How Large Will Skin Tags Get?
Don’t worry, they won’t get enormous, usually no larger than a pea, but still large enough to be mildly disturbing and cosmetically undesirable. This is why you might find yourself looking for a way to get rid of skin tags.
Getting Rid of Skin Tags?
Sometimes tiny skin tags might rub off but most will persist for life unless you do something to remove them. So what should you do to remove a skin tag? First of all, don’t get frustrated and take a knife or clippers to it. Although that would certainly be the quickest way to get rid of one it would really sting, probably cause a bit more bleeding than you would like to deal with and even create a risk of infection. Furthermore, since you are likely dealing with more than one skin tag, whatever procedure you use you are going to have to repeat several times over. Cutting one off would certainly not be something you would want to repeat. Should you go to a dermatologist? For many people this is would understandably be the most comfortable way to approach the problem. If you are nervous about your skin tags or concerned that they might be something else then seeing a dermatologist is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, just know this: Dermatologists don’t really have any way of removing a skin tag that you can’t do yourself at home. A dermatologist is also going to charge you a nice fee for each skin tag they eradicate and your health insurance probably won’t cover it as it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.
Three Options for Removing Skin Tags Yourself
1. Compound W
A lot of people, including pharmacists, will recommend Compound W or a similar product to get rid of skin tags. A great product for warts to be sure and perhaps it does ok on really small skin tags that have almost no feeling but for larger ones Compound W can be a pretty miserable way to go about it. For one, you can’t just apply it one time and watch the skin tag fall off. It will take multiple applications for possibly weeks, all the while causing considerably pain. Compound W contains an acid (salicylic acid) and it burns. It won’t burn so much the first time you apply it but after a couple of applications a skin tag will start to become irritated and inflamed, steadily increasing in it’s sensitivity. It won’t only hurt when you apply the Compound W either. You will find an aching, burning sensation taking place all day long, especially as the skin tag is brushed against by clothing or other skin. After a while the thought of applying more Compound W to a skin tag already red and screaming in pain will become totally unacceptable, especially if you're not seeing any sort of progress. Furthermore, whenever applying Compound W to a skin tag you will find it difficult to avoid touching the surrounding skin or having it smear onto opposing skin if the skin tag is in a place such as your underarm. Then you'll end up with an area larger than the skin tag itself being burned by the acid. As an alternative to this sort of unpleasant procedure you could consider Compound W patches which are sort of like a medicated band aid. This is certainly a cleaner and less painful way of applying Compound W and perhaps it would work on a really tiny skin tag but it's effectiveness on a larger skin tag is doubtful.
No an ice cube won’t be enough to get rid of skin tags. You’ll need a special freeze applicator which can now be readily found at a drug store. This is a method many dermatologists use. These are likely successful with smaller skin tags but it's again a treatment more suited to removing warts. The applicator isn’t all that cheap either and it takes multiple and sometimes painful applications. Once again you have to use great caution to avoid affecting surrounding skin. You’ll also find many warnings of danger in the instructions.
No not litigation, unfortunately you can't sue a skin tag, but ligation, where you bind, or strangle the skin tag, is the method that many claim worked best for them. It’s not immediate but it is the quickest. This involves tying off a skin tag with some string and cutting off its blood supply. The catch here is that unless you can tie a knot one handed you really need someone else to do this for you. It may be embarassing to ask, even your spouse but if you can manage it this will work. You’ll need a fine yet strong sort of thread to do this (dental floss is probably too thick). Form a nice loop with the thread around the base of the tag and then tie it off as tightly as you can as it needs to both effectively cut off the blood supply as well as stay in place. It make take a few tries but when you tie it tightly enough it will sting, making you question what you’re doing. You’ll get used to it rather quickly however and, unlike using Compoud W, the pain won’t get worse. In a matter of hours it will begin to numb up. Within a couple of days it will start to die. Within a week the skin tag will shrivel up and rub off. Gone. Repeat with other skin tags (the ones large enough to do this on) and soon you will have clear smooth skin again and the skin tags will only be a memory.