Don't try it at home - Cleveland Clinic

Don’t try it at home – Cleveland Clinic

You wear your favorite necklace and it’s captured on a small, sinister flap of leather that appears right at the neckline. looks familiar?

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common event, skin tags They are flesh-colored growths that usually develop on areas of the body where the skin rubs together, such as the neck, armpits or groin.

“It doesn’t discriminate—it affects people of all ages and body types and can occur anywhere, including the face,” says the dermatologist. Pamela Ng, MD.

Most of the time, skin tags are nothing more than annoying and ugly looking, but sometimes, they can have more. That’s why it’s important to know when your doctor should take a look at one and not try to remove it yourself.

Dr. Ng explains the risks involved with home remedies and how your doctor can remove a skin tag during an office visit.

Can you safely remove a skin tag yourself?

With so many skin tag treatments on the market, it can be tempting to try to remove one at home.

But Dr. Ng suggests leaving the skin tag removal to the professionals. She says some home remedies can lead to skin irritation and even skin sores from applying home remedies like apple cider vinegar. And if you try to cut off one piece, it will only cause bleeding and possibly infection.

Options at home

At-home options range from removal creams to freezing kits. And although these products may claim to remove skin tags, it is important that you do your research and speak with your doctor first before trying any home remedy.

Remove creams and spots

Whether it’s a cream that you apply daily (or in some cases, several times a day) or a patch that you wear for a week or more, many options contain plant extracts that can take weeks to work—if any.

“These treatments can be very irritating, causing redness, burning, and even skin sores in the lesion itself and the skin around it,” warns Dr. Ng.

Freezing kits

It is usually marketed to remove WartsThese kits use nitrous oxide or a mixture of dimethyl ether, propane, and isobutane to destroy the skin tag.

Although these chemicals are not as strong as what a doctor uses during in-clinic treatment, there are still risks. If the solution comes into contact with the skin around the skin tag, it may be damaged.

“At home freezing kits are often ineffective,” says Dr. Ng. “They can cause some irritation, burning, and skin damage to the surrounding skin.”

tea tree oil

You may have come across tea tree oil as a potential treatment for skin tags.

This method involves applying one or two drops of tea tree oil to a cotton ball, then applying that cotton ball to the skin tags and securing it with a bandage for 10 minutes, three times each day.

It may take several weeks for you to see any signs of improvement – and tea tree oil can irritate the skin.

“Tea tree oil will not harm the skin, but I doubt it will be effective in removing skin tags,” says Dr. Ng. “Some people may develop allergic contact dermatitis to tea tree oil.”

apple cider vinegar

Like the idea behind tea tree oil, the idea here is to apply a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar to the area of ​​the skin tag with a bandage for 10 minutes, three times a day.

Because apple cider vinegar is acidic. It can cause skin irritation or even chemical burns. It can also cause redness and sores on the skin.

“I’ve seen skin sores develop after applying apple cider vinegar to the skin,” says Dr. Ng. “It is ineffective.”

Vitamin E oil

Vitamin E helps in the health of your skin. It is believed that massaging vitamin E oil into skin tags can help shrink them within days, although there is no research to support this claim.

Like tea tree oil, using vitamin E will not harm your skin, but some individuals may experience contact dermatitis.

When do you see a doctor about skin tag removal?

Most of the time, skin tags are just a nuisance.

“If it’s really a cutaneous appendix, you don’t have to worry,” Dr. Ng emphasizes. “However, when skin tags are twisted, irritated, or bleeding, this may be a good reason to see a doctor.”

And it’s never a good idea to self-diagnose yourself when it comes to any skin problems.

“You definitely don’t want to use some of these home remedies on a mole or skin cancer,” says Dr. Ng. “It’s best to see a professional to remove your skin tags.”

How do doctors remove skin tags?

Your doctor can remove skin tags during an office visit with one of these available treatments:


A surgical blade or scissors is used to cut the skin tags.

Dr. Ng prefers to remove the skin tags in the clinic by numbing the area and cutting the skin tags with surgical scissors.

“I like the clipping method better because it is clean and the skin tags are gone by the time the patient leaves,” she notes.


Using liquid nitrogen, your doctor will do this freeze Skin tags, which will cause the skin tags to shed after about 10 to 14 days.

But freezing can cause more inflammation of the surrounding skin. Multiple treatments may be required, depending on the size and location of the skin appendix.


Ironing is done when the skin appendix is ​​burned using a small device. It may take a few treatments before the skin tag is completely removed.

electric drying

This is a surgical method of drying tissue by touching it with a needle-like electrode that passes an electric current to the tissue.

Skin tag removal reminder

One thing to keep in mind, Dr. Ng says, is that skin tag removal is considered “cosmetic” by most insurance companies and is usually not covered.

And if you have skin tags on your eyelid, don’t worry. Although it is in an awkward place, Dr. Ng says it can be removed.

“Skin tags on the eyelids can be difficult to remove because of the location, but they can be removed safely in most cases as long as patients remain calm during the procedure,” she adds.

If there’s any question about what’s happening to your skin, there’s no harm in taking a look at the doctor.

“It’s best to have it evaluated by a doctor if you’re not sure what it is,” says Dr. Ng.

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