Do you know what one of the most unpleasant experiences is? Waking up in the morning, taking a shower, and discovering a lump in your neck that doesn’t budge. Of course, your mind immediately jumps at the worst possible scenario. However, in most cases, these small, hanging bumps are nothing more than skin tags.
I’m sure that you’ve already seen a skin tag even if you don’t know its name. In fact, most people have them or will have them at some point in their lives, so don’t fret so much if you’ve suddenly joined the club. The good news is that they are completely harmless and turn malignant in extremely rare cases.
Although skin tags are benign, a lot of people find them ugly and disgusting. And to be honest, no one is ready to admit that she is getting older. Of course, you can turn to your doctor to burn it off or freeze it, but there are a couple of home remedies for skin tags that you can try.
But first, let’s talk about what causes skin tags and what the difference is between them and other skin conditions like warts.
What causes skin tags?
Skin tags are not present at birth, so they don’t have anything to do with birthmarks. These tiny growths are more common in adults than children, so scientists connected them to aging. If you find one on your chest today, it hasn’t just appeared there. It has been growing up without you noticing it for a while. But what causes it besides age?
Unfortunately, skin tags are one of those mysteries, which haven’t been unraveled yet. No one knows why these bumps appear on our bodies, they just speculate. One of the most believable and probable theories is that skin tags are related to the friction between the clothes and the skin or skin-to-skin because they appear in places such as:
- Groin folds
Since friction probably plays a role in the development of these growths, being overweight or obese increases your chances of getting one. Another possible risk is diabetes and hormonal changes related to pregnancy.
Some also suggest that insulin resistance has a direct connection to the formation of the tags and that people with multiple skin tags should be tested for diabetes.
Now, don’t panic that you might have diabetes or insulin resistance. People can develop these bumps for no reason whatsoever. However, if you are overweight, it might be a good idea to check your blood sugar and change your diet.
Other studies have also discovered that skin tags run in the family, which means that their appearance has something to do with genetics. So, if your mother or father has these bumps, it’s very likely that you’ll also be affected at some point in your life.
A couple of studies have also found that some skin tags contain traces of the human papillomavirus, but it’s still unclear how big a part if any the virus plays in the formation of the tags.
How do skin tags look?
Skin tags are also known as acrochordons, a name only doctors can pronounce, probably. Some called them soft warts, fibroma pendulans, or soft fibromas. They are made of collagen fibers and blood vessels. Most often they are flesh-colored, but they could be brown in people with light skin.
Acrochordons have a very distinctive look – a deflated balloon hanging from the skin by a stalk. If you take a closer look and use a little imagination, they seem like the clothes tags you see in the store. The growths are usually smooth, and they range in size – it could be very tiny, no more than a millimeter, or it could be as large as a grape.
At first glance, it seems like you’ll be able to pluck the bump out of the skin, but these stalks are very strong. Speaking from personal experience, the only thing you’ll accomplish if you try to remove them with pincers or fingers is that they’ll get inflamed. The bad news is that once this growth appears, it won’t disappear on its own unless something happens.
As I’ve mentioned before, the tags usually don’t cause discomfort. However, they can get tangled and twisted in the clothes or the jewelry, in which case they might bleed or turn black. You might also cut one accidentally while shaving. Generally, you don’t need any test to confirm that the spot is a skin tag, but keep an eye for change, for example:
- Change of color
- Change of shape/texture
- Too much bleeding
You might want to consult your doctor as soon as possible in such a case.
Sometimes moles and warts might resemble skin tags. To make the distinction clear, here are some facts about warts and moles:
- Warts are rough, scaly and look like cauliflower. They are usually slightly raised above the skin, although they could be completely flat.
- Unlike skin tags, warts are caused by a virus and will eventually disappear. What’s more, they are contagious, and you can get one if you come into contact with somebody who has them.
- Moles are black or brown spots on the skin, so they are very different from skin tags and warts.
Home remedies for skin tags
Before I recommend some amazing home remedies for skin tags that will take care of the problem quickly and efficiently, I want to advise you something. If the skin tag doesn’t bother you and it’s barely visible, leave it alone. Under no circumstances try to cut it with scissors at home or something equally stupid. You’ll probably get an infection and an ugly scar, which you want to avoid.
Also, don’t worry that another skin tag will spring back after a couple of days. Once you remove it properly, it won’t appear again at the same spot, and it won’t scar.
1. Dental floss is 100% effective
The stalk of the skin tag is what supplies it with blood and oxygen. Once you cut the blood supply, the rest of the tag will dry and fall out. The best way to do it is to use dental floss. I know that tying the skin tag seems odd, but it’s one of the surest ways to remove these hanging bumps quickly. Here’s how to do it:
- Cotton balls
- A piece of dental floss
- A towel
- Make sure that what you’re about to tie is a skin tag. If you are not 100% convinced, don’t do anything, but go to the doctor.
- Soak a cotton ball in water and clean the area carefully.
- Dry it well.
- Take a piece of dental floss.
- Sterilize it. There shouldn’t be any bacteria/dirt on it, or you risk infection.
- Place the string around the stalk carefully.
- Tie it in a knot tightly. There might be a slight discomfort at first.
- Check the knot daily. The skin might be swollen at the beginning but if you notice that it’s getting too tender, remove the knot and make an appointment with your physician.
- In 7-10 days the tag should dry, wither, and fall.
- Once that happens, clean the spot thoroughly with rubbing alcohol.
Notes: In case the tag hasn’t fallen after two weeks, you might not have tied it properly. You might enlist the help of another person to tie the knot better or try another remedy.
2. Apple cider vinegar for blemish-free skin
A popular remedy for various skin conditions is apple cider vinegar, of course. You might have used it to treat eczema, warts, or ache. ACV has such fame thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to its ability to restore skin PH levels.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that ACV is useful for skin tags, but its acid properties are helpful for sterilizing wounds and killing bacteria and fungi.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Sterile cotton balls
- A bandage
- A bowl
- Start by cleaning the skin tag and the surrounding area with water.
- Pour some apple cider vinegar into the bowl.
- Take a cotton ball and soak in the vinegar.
- Place it on the tag.
- Use the bandage to secure the ball.
- Wait 20 minutes and remove the bandage.
- Check for signs of irritation and inflammation.
- Clean the area again with water and soap.
- Let it dry.
- Repeat until the skin tag falls.
Notes: Applying apple cider vinegar might cause stinging at first. To make sure that you won’t have a bad reaction to it, you might dilute it with water. I recommend it to those with sensitive skin.
3. Tea tree oil is a natural skin tag remover
Another famous remedy for skin conditions, which will allow you to get the ring of the ugly bumps is tea tree oil. As you probably know, tea tree oil has anti-microbial, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties and it’s beneficial for promoting skin healing. Medical studies have proven its ability to deal with viruses, bacteria, and fungi, and it’s entirely safe for use.
- Pure tea tree oil
- A cotton ball
- A bowl
- Clean the spot thoroughly with water and soap. Pat it dry.
- Pour several drops of tea tree oil into the bowl.
- Soak a cotton ball.
- Apply it to the skin tag.
- Wait for the oil to dry.
- Cover it with a bandage.
- Wait 15 minutes and remove the bandage.
- Repeat three times a day until the tag falls.
Alternatively, you can try a mixture of apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil.
- Three drops of tea tree oil
- Fours drops of apple cider vinegar
- Five drops of lemon juice
- Cotton balls
- A bandage
- A bowl
- Measure the necessary quantities and pour them into the bowl.
- Mix well.
- Soak a cotton ball into the concoction.
- Apply it to the affected area.
- Cover it with a bandage and wait for it to soak.
- Repeat three times a day for about 3-6 weeks.
Notes: Tea tree oil is a potent substance, and people with sensitive skin might have an adverse reaction to it. Always make sure that you’re using as little as possible. You can also dilute it with a carrier oil or water so that it won’t burn your skin.
4. Iodine breaks skin cells
Iodine is necessary for the proper function of the organism, but it also has some interesting benefits for our skin and hair. It promotes healing, keeps the skin moist, and delays aging. Iodine is also a natural remedy for breaking skin cells and keeping infections at bay so that it will destroy the build-up cells.
- A dropper
- Iodine tincture
- A bandage
- Coconut oil
- Apply coconut oil to the area surrounding the skin tag to protect it from damage.
- Get the dropper.
- Fill it with a few drops of iodine.
- Place the tincture on the skin tag.
- Apply a bandage.
- Repeat daily.
Notes: Don’t overuse iodine or you risk burning your skin.
5. Vitamin E for healthy skin
One of the most beneficial vitamins for your skin is vitamin E. It has powerful antioxidant properties so that it prevents damage from free radicals and slows aging. It’s also necessary for the proper function of the organism in addition to its ability to reduce inflammation. You can also use it to treat sunburn, acne, eczema, scars, and wrinkles.
- A bandage
- Vitamin E
- A cotton ball
- Soak a ball into a bowl filled with Vitamin E.
- Apply it to the skin.
- Cover it with a bandage.
- Repeat the process, until the skin tag falls.
Notes: Vitamin E is not a strong substance unlike some essential oils, so it doesn’t matter if you get it on the surrounding skin. But make sure that you buy high-quality liquid vitamin E or capsules.
How to prevent skin tags?
As I said before, scientists don’t know why these hanging bumps appear. However, you can take measures to lower the chances to get one:
- Lose weight if you are obese or overweight.
- Eat healthy diet.
- Use friction reducing powders.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes.
Skin tags are harmless growths, which are easy to recognize and treat. If you don’t want to use home treatments you can go to your local pharmacy and buy over-the-counter skin tag removal. However, keep in mind that some of these over-the-counter medicines are based on natural remedies such as tea tree oil, so you might just give them a try.
What do you think about these home remedies for skin tags? Have you used them? How do you deal with skin tags? Share your natural remedy in the comment section.