Skin tags are unsightly but can be easily removed.
What Are Skin Tags
Skin tags are usually small, soft flaps of skin that develop around the neck, in the armpits, groin, breasts, and eyelids. They are caused by collagen fibers that get lodged inside thicker areas of skin. They are benign (noncancerous), and probably are caused by areas of friction.
They are extremely common, with almost half of all adults developing them. They are most prevalent in the obese, the elderly, and diabetics. They are primarily harmless, but unsightly, and can get caught in jewelry or clothing and cause pain.
Common Ways To Remove Skin Tags
There are lots of at-home skin tag removal kits, and most of them involve drying out the skin of the skin tag. Here are some common remedies:
Banana peel: It sounds weird, but a small piece of a banana peel can be put on the tag and covered with a bandage every night until the banana peel dries out the skin tag and it falls off.
Tea Tree Oil: This easy-to-find essential oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It will also dry out a skin tag. Wash off the area, and swab the tag with a cotton swab soaked in tea tree oil. Put a bandage on the area, and repeat this for several nights until the tag falls off.
Cider vinegar: The cider is acidic enough to dry out the skin tag. Soak a small piece of cotton or the end of a cotton swab in vinegar, and put a bandage over it for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash the area and repeat daily for a couple of weeks, until the tag falls off.
Vitamin E: If you think the skin tag might be due to UV damage or premature aging, treating it with vitamin E regularly might make the skin tag actually go away after a while.
Garlic: An old remedy is to put crushed garlic over the tag, then to cover it with a bandage overnight, and wash it off in the morning. Repeat until it disappears.
Hemp: There are preparations you can purchase with hemp, like hempvana end tag, that will remove the skin tag with hemp oil.
Liquid Nitrogen: There are several OTC kits to freeze off warts or skin tags using liquid nitrogen. Follow package directions carefully.
Rubber Band: There are kits available that have tiny plastic or elastic bands to tie off the skin tag, cutting off circulation so it will fall off. Follow package directions carefully.
Salicylic Acid: Some boxed skin tag removers use salicylic acid. Follow package directions.
Prevention of Skin Tags
There are some ways to prevent developing skin tags. Avoiding the causative factors is the primary way to avoid skin tags. If you watch your dietary intake of sugar and keep yourself at a healthy weight, you will likely have less of a chance of developing skin tags. High sugar intake is known to be bad for the skin, and obesity is a definite predisposing factor, as is having diabetes. As far as diets that have been shown to prevent skin tags, there isn’t a lot of data to support a particular diet, but those who follow a raw foods diet claim to have a low incidence of skin tags.
Quitting smoking is another good way to prevent skin tags, as it is also a contributing factor.
Friction is the main cause of skin tags. If you wear loose-fitting clothing, and clothing that doesn’t rub in key areas like the groin, neck, and armpits, that will reduce the occurrence of skin tags. Wearing powder in areas where the fabric rubs the skin, like the groin, armpits, and around the breasts, can also help.
One sensitive place that skin tags develop is the eyelids. It is unsightly and potentially painful to have skin tags on the eyelids. In the case of eyelid skin tags, a doctor should be consulted for removal, due to the proximity to the eye.
To prevent skin tags near the eye, avoid rubbing the eyes as much as possible, as this friction causes them. Smoking increases the chance of forming skin tags around the eyes, and the use of corticosteroids also does. It’s tough to not take prednisone or other steroids if that’s what you are prescribed, but be aware this might be causing your skin tags.