August 18, 2023

How to Remove Skin Tags

Skin tags -- or acrochordons, as they're called medically -- are harmless, but some people feel that they're unattractive or bothersome. The best way to get rid of one is to have it removed by a board-certified dermatologist. It can be done by freezing it with liquid nitrogen; cauterizing it, using an electrified wire to burn off the stalk that attaches the tag to the skin; or cutting it off with medical scissors.

Some home remedies claim to remove skin tags, but there's little scientific evidence that they work. For example, some people use toothpaste to cut off a skin tag, believing that the menthol in the toothpaste suffocates and kills the growth. But it's risky, especially for those on blood thinners or with bleeding disorders, and can cause a painful skin reaction.

Another method involves applying tea tree oil to a skin tag, then covering it with a bandage and leaving it in place for 10 minutes, three times per day. While this may irritate the skin, it can be effective at eliminating a skin tag, but it could take weeks to see results.

It's also tempting to try to cut or clip off a skin tag using a razor blade, nail clippers or scissors, but that's a bad idea. It's easy to inadvertently nick a blood vessel or vein, which can lead to heavy bleeding and infection. Cutting off a skin tag also can cause it to grow back or develop an engorged, infected stalk that may rupture and bleed again.


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