Cutting off a skin tag seems like a huge endeavor when you first think about it. You look at your skin tag in the mirror and just wish there were a quick and easy way to remove the thing. As far as your health is concerned skin tags won't affect anything but they're unsightly and a cosmetic issue.
The good news is there's several ways you can remove skin tags at home. It's a lot less painful than you probably think and some options are literally 100% painless. Our goal is to give you a how to guide to removing your skin tags and boosting your self-confidence once again.
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Cutting Off a Skin Tag
Below we're going to give you a couple options to remove your skin tag. Each options may require a different set of tools but it's actually rather inexpensive to remove a skin tag. Read each one and decide the route you would like to take.
Here's what you can expect overall. When removing a skin tag you can generally expect some bleeding, how much depends on the size of the skin tag. You should expect a little discomfort but nothing extreme. There may be a small pinch sensation if you're cutting off a skin tag.
If your skin tag bleeds after you can simply use a cotton ball or small cloth to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Followed up with anti-bacterial cream and a band-aide.
In general the removal process doesn't take very long (unless using creams) and most people find themselves very happy with the process and end result. Do keep in mind that larger skin tags may leave scarring.
Here are your options for removing your skin tag at home:
Removing Skin Tag Through Ligation
Removing a skin tag through ligation is ideal if your skin tag is small with a narrow base. Make sure your skin tag meets both criteria (small & narrow base) before proceeding. If it does meet the criteria then you've got the easiest type of skin tag to remove.
Here's what you do: pick up your dental floss and tie off the base of the skin tag. Make it tight as your goal is to cut off the blood supply and make it drop off (ligation).
The amount of time it takes for the skin tag to fall off will vary. I suggest doing this at night and going to bed sleeping on the opposite side of the skin tag. You may wake up to what use to be a skin tag.
If the tag is still there it should have turned a red color. It'll turn red, then purple, and finally black before falling off and minor swelling is acceptable.
Most skin tags will fall off within 4 days as long as the blood supply is completely cut off. If your skin tag is still there after one week call your doctor.
There's often very little or no bleeding in this situation. As stated earlier this is the easiest skin tag type to remove. If your skin tag is larger we recommend you have a friend assist you in your removal with one of the below methods.
Cutting it Off with Scissors or Scalpel
While cutting off a skin tag is considered harmless it should not be done to other skin conditions such as moles. If you're unsure if what you have is a skin tag then consult your local doctor first.
Step 1) Sterilize your environment. Wash your hands, skin tag area, and tools you're using. Let everything dry before beginning the process. It's recommend to use rubbing alcohol.
Step 2) When you cut the skin tag off it's going to sting. Prepare yourself by numbing the area with ice. The sting won't last long.
Step 3) Stretch the skin tag away from the base of your skin. You'll notice the bottom of the skin tag where it attaches to your skin dips inward (the stalk). Using an acute pair of scissors place them as close to the skin as you can without being directly on the skin to avoid cutting the skin.
Step 4) Don't hesitate and cut the stalk of the skin tag very quickly and in one smooth motion. Immediately apply pressure to the spot with cotton balls or clean cloth. Leave the pressure there for a few minutes until you're sure the blood has clotted.
Step 5) Apply an anti-bacterial cream to prevent infection and cover the area with a bandage.
It will take 1-2 days and then you can stop using any bandages and you'll be left without a skin tag. You might be thinking the steps sound difficult but when you get down to it there's really nothing to it. You can do this!
Important: If your skin tag doesn't have a stalk that dips inward at the base and becomes smaller at the base then you should skip cutting the skin tag and try a different method. Your skin tag may be categorized as larger if it doesn't have these traits.
Burning or Freezing
When people talk about burning off a skin tag or wart they're usually referring to using chemical peels. This works by removing a skin tag layer by layer gradually. It'll be a daily process you will repeat until the skin tag is gone.
Step 1) Clean the area you're treating. Remove any dirt/oil on your skin.
Step 2) Protect the skin surrounding the skin tag. The easiest way to do this is simply with some petroleum jelly spread around the base of your skin tag. Try and not get any on the skin tag itself.
Step 3) Soak a Q-tip in your chemical peel solution, it's recommended to use at least a 75% solution, and apply it to the skin tag and stalk in non-overlapping strokes.
Step 4) Allow the solution to sit for roughly 10 minutes. Then rinse the area off with cold water.
Step 5) Repeat this process on a daily basis.
It's important to remove the solution from healthy skin if you get any on you. Wash it away immediately. Cover the skin tag with a bandage until it's removed. Don't expose it to clothing or your bed sheets etc..
It's important to note that you should not use a chemical peel on sensitive areas of the body. Stay away from the face, genitals, or anus.
Skin Tag Removal Cream
Using a skin tag removal cream is a more laid back but slower solution. It can take a week or so to remove a skin tag using this method.
Once you have the skin tag cream simply follow the directions that come with the tube. Different brands may require different instructions but they're each fairly similar.
It's a process you'll repeat daily for a week or more to remove the skin tag. If the thought of chemical peels or cutting off a skin tag don't seem like something you can do this is a completely viable option that's more hands off.
Alternatively if you're looking for a more all natural solution to skin tag removal you might want to consider trying Tea Tree Oil. You'll need to apply the oil three times a day and it'll turn the skin tag black before falling off. Tea tree oil also is helpful for many other things.
Avoid Medical Complications
Overall the process of removing skin tags is harmless but it can still lead to complications. The skin surrounding the tag can become infected and would cause you more trouble in the long run.
Never attempt to remove a skin tag without 100% certainty that it is a skin tag. You don't want to accidentally self-treat melanoma or other condition that could place you in a worse position.
If you're unsure about anything contact a dermatologist and seek professional assistance. Going to a professional when you're facing uncertainty is the smart decision that will most definitely save you a future headache.