Skin tags (medically known as acrochorda) are small, benign growths that usually appear on the underarms, eyelids, and along the folds of the neck. Although they may look a little strange, skin tags aren’t dangerous, and usually do not cause any pain. Nor do they indicate a medical problem of any kind. For these reasons, it’s always a viable option to leave the skin tags alone instead of risk any complications associated with removal.
If, however, you want to remove your skin tags because you view them as unsightly, there are a number of home remedies to remove them.
Causes of Skin Tags
Skin tags are caused due to the accumulation of blood vessels and collagen in the thicker parts of the skin. This is mainly caused due to the rubbing of skin, which mainly occurs in skin folds and creases. Skin tags are mostly caused to people, who suffer from:
- In pregnant women, due to hormonal changes
- Human papilloma virus
- Excess use of steroids
- Scratches due to shaving, jewellery and clothing
Home Remedies for Skin Tags
You can use home remedies to get rid of skin tags. Home remedies are less invasive and can give you the same positive results.
It is suggested to consult your doctor before proceeding to remove any skin growth or development. Plus, make sure to wash your skin with soap and warm water, and pat dry before applying any of these remedies to remove skin tags.
1. Tea Tree Oil
Being very acidic in nature, tea tree oil is a good remedy for skin tags. This oil will dry out the skin tag and gradually it will fall off on its own without any pain. Plus, the antiseptic property of tea tree oil will protect the skin after the tag has been removed.
- Dip a cotton ball in water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Put 3-4 drops of tea tree oil on the wet cotton ball.
- Rub the cotton ball over the skin tag, massaging gently in circular motions.
- Leave it on for a few hours before washing it off.
- Repeat this three times daily for a few weeks or until the skin tag vanishes.
Note: If you have very sensitive skin, dilute the tea tree oil with an equal amount of water before application.
2. Aloe Vera
It’s important that you use pure aloe vera extract for this remedy to work; you cannot use lotion with aloe vera added. You can find this at almost any drug store or local grocery store.
- Rub some onto the skin tag twice per day, every day.
- The skin tag should disappear within two weeks.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Rub a little bit of apple cider vinegar onto a cotton ball and soak the cotton ball on the site of the skin tag three times a day. Follow this procedure for up to several weeks or until the tag has fallen off.
After several days, you should notice the skin tag changing color. It will gradually darken until it eventually falls off.
4. Castor Oil
Castor oil is another effective home remedy to remove skin tags. This oil helps dissolve and eliminate unusual skin growths without leaving a scar. Plus, it is loaded with many nutrients that help keep your skin healthy.
- Prepare a paste by mixing two parts castor oil with one part baking soda.
- Optionally, you can add a few drops of lemon oil or peppermint oil to the paste.
- Apply this paste on the skin tag.
- Cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash it off with warm water.
- Repeat daily for about two weeks or until the tag is gone.
You can even rub some castor oil on your skin tags several times a day to get rid of them quickly.
Dissolve an aspirin tablet in 1/4 cup of water and then soak a cotton ball in this mixture. Dab this onto the skin tag and cover the area with a band-aid, not removing the solution from the skin tag. The aspirin mixture will soak in and fade the skin tag.
You need actual aspirin; this is not a time to substitute ibuprofen or acetaminophen as you might when you get a headache.
Fresh garlic can help treat a number of skin conditions including skin tags. It is believed that the enzymes present in garlic help shrink skin tags naturally.
- Crush a few garlic cloves to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on the skin tags.
- Cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, wash the area with warm water.
- Repeat daily for a few days until the skin tag comes off.
Cut a thin slice of white potato and put it over the skin tag and hold it in place with a bandage. Wear this for a few hours, until the slice feels dry. Repeat this every day until the skin tag disappears, usually within a week.
8. Onion Juice
Onion juice has an acidic nature, hence it can help get rid of skin tags.
- Cut one onion into small pieces.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to it and let it sit overnight in a closed container.
- The next morning, extract the juice from the salted onion and set it aside.
- Before going to bed, apply the juice on the skin tag and cover it with a bandage.
- The following morning, wash the area with warm water.
- Repeat every night for a week or until the tag comes off.
9. Banana Peel
Potassium and other essential minerals in bananas help remove skin tags, and you can treat yours by slicing a small part of a banana peel and placing it onto your skin tag at night.
Be sure the inside of the peel is facing your skin tag, and keep it in place with a bandage. Wear it overnight and gently wipe the skin tag in the morning. Do this every night until the skin tag is gone, usually within two weeks.
10. Fenugreek Seeds
The powerful antioxidants in fenugreek seeds help remove dead skin cells, including skin tags. Fenugreek seeds will help shrink skin tags until they disappear completely.
- Soak 2-3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of warm water overnight.
- In the morning, strain the seeds and collect the water in another bowl.
- Drink this water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
- You can also put some of the water on the skin tag and chew the soaked fenugreek seeds.
- Repeat daily for one or two weeks.
You can treat skin tags with alcohol. This method may sound a little painful, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. You should see some clear skin on the top of your skin tag if you look at it in the light. Clip that extra skin off with a nail clipper. There are no nerves in this section so it shouldn’t hurt too much. Your skin tag might bleed but that’s okay. Take some nail polish and dab it on the top. This might hurt.
- Let dry and leave it alone for a day or two. It will be sore, but not too sore.
- After two days wiggle it. Then some more. If you are very sensitive to pain, numb it with ice cubes. Finally pull it out. This won’t hurt very much at all.
- There will be a red spot for the next few days, but just put some aloe vera healing medication on it and the tag scar should go away in about a week or so.
12. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has antiseptic properties and can help dry out skin tags. Also, when applied topically, it serves as a cleansing and numbing agent.
- Mix together 2 drops of oregano oil and 4 drops of coconut oil.
- Apply the oil mixture on the skin tag.
- Allow it to air dry, and then wash it off with warm water.
- Repeat three times daily until the skin tag drops off.
Other Home Remedies for Skin Tags
Treat skin tags by tying them off with dental floss. Also called ligation, this kills the skin tag by temporarily blocking off blood flow to the area. Take a piece of dental floss and tie around skin tag and pull on it, little by little each day.
After a day, you should begin to notice the complexion of your tag changing. After several days, it should dry up entirely and fall off.
Apply a cream to the skin tag. Certain creams advertise the ability to completely eliminate skin tags. Whether they work or not is a different question — although some individuals claim to have had success in using them, there is often no medical literature on the subject, and they aren’t medically recommended. Consider trying:
- Compound W Gel. Traditionally a wart-removal cream, this is often used to remove skin tags.
- Lextrin – FDA registered Skin Tag Remover made specifically for the removal of skin tags.
Remove skin tags by freezing away. Much like freezing away a wart, skin tags can also be eliminated using liquid nitrogen. OTC store-bought removal kits are widespread, offering the patient the option of freezing away his or her tags at home.
After application of liquid nitrogen, skin tags will fall off anywhere from several days to several weeks.
Use vitamin E and an adhesive bandage. Break open a vitamin E capsule and wipe some of the liquid onto the skin tag. Cover the tag with a band-aid. The band-aid is supposed to cut off the blood supply to the tag, while the vitamin E helps heal the skin as the tag is sloughed off.
Leave the band-aid on for several days before checking whether the skin tag has fallen off. If it hasn’t, reapply some vitamin E formula and the band-aid, waiting for another couple days.
Cover the skin tag with duct tape. Cover the skin tag completely with a small amount of duct tape, keeping it over the skin tag until it the tape loosens. When it loosens, check to see whether the skin tag has either loosened or fallen off. If it hasn’t reapply a new piece of duct tape to the skin tag and wait for it to fall off.