So-called stalk warts (fibromas) are not warts, but small stalked skin growths. They usually form in the folds of the skin, such as the armpits, eyelids and neck, and are completely harmless. Nevertheless, such a skin tag could bother you or be so uncomfortable that you want to remove it. Fortunately, there are many methods you can try to do this. If all else fails, your doctor can also remove them for you – but this is usually considered a cosmetic treatment, so your health insurance company will probably not cover the costs.
- 1 Confirm that the skin growth is a skin tag
- 2 Use sharp, clean scissors to snip off small hanging stalks
- 3 Tie off the skin tag if you don’t want to cut it off
- 4 Try an over-the-counter product as an alternative
- 5 Avoid home remedies that are not scientifically backed
- 6 Ask your doctor for surgical removal
- 7 Tips
- 8 Warnings
Confirm that the skin growth is a skin tag
Birthmarks, warts, and other skin lesions might look like a skin tag.
The problem here is that some of these skin changes can indicate a serious medical condition, including cancer. Even if you’re fairly certain that you have a skin tag, only a dermatologist can tell for sure. Usually, a doctor only needs to look at a skin growth to identify it as a skin tag. If he’s not sure, he might take a biopsy (a small sample of tissue) and send it to the lab for testing. You should never attempt to remove a skin tag without first confirming that it is in fact a skin tag. If it is something else, you could seriously injure your skin.
Use sharp, clean scissors to snip off small hanging stalks
Dip scissors and tweezers in rubbing alcohol to disinfect.
Grasp the end of the skin tag with the clean tweezers, then pull taut and cut as close to the base as possible. There will be a little bleeding, so have a sterile gauze swab handy. Any sharp scissors will do. However, small ones, like cuticle scissors, are usually best as they give you more control when trimming. In general, you don’t feel more than a small pinch. However, if you are afraid of pain, you can numb your skin with an ice cube beforehand. Have a friend help you if you’re not sure you can do it on your own. Clean the wound with warm water and soap, pat your skin dry, and cover it with a band-aid for a day or more. Small skin appendages are usually only a few millimeters in diameter — the thickness of a sharpened wax crayon. You should never try to cut off a larger skin tag, as it could cause excessive bleeding or even inflammation. This method also does not work for flat skin growths because they do not have a narrow base.
Tie off the skin tag if you don’t want to cut it off
Use tweezers to pull the skin tag taut.
Then place a piece of dental floss around the base and pull it tight. Secure the floss in place with a double knot, trim the excess floss and release the skin tag. A thin thread, such as is used for sewing, is also suitable for this. Keep the floss tied tightly around the root to pinch off the blood supply to the skin tag. The skin tag will turn red, then black, and eventually fall off. The skin at the base of the skin tag is usually healed by this point. The whole process can take several days. If the dental floss or thread comes loose during this time, you can simply tie a new piece tightly around the base.
Try an over-the-counter product as an alternative
Purchase an over-the-counter wart removal product online or at your local pharmacy.
If you don’t want to cut or tie off the skin tag, you may prefer one of these remedies. Most of the products are home ice creams of the kind you may be familiar with for warts. While they are effective, more than one application is often required to completely remove the skin tag. If you weren’t able to remove the entire skin tag on the first application, there is a risk that it will form again unless you remove the rest with another application right after the first one. Keep in mind that these treatments destroy skin cells, which can also lead to damage and scarring in the surrounding skin area. If you want to get rid of the skin tag for cosmetic reasons, you may be less happy with the result than you were before.
Avoid home remedies that are not scientifically backed
Common home remedies often use a type of acid that can burn your skin.
There are tons of home remedies for skin tag removal online. Typically, they’ll advise you to put an acidic substance like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar on the skin tag. However, these home remedies can cause chemical burns and scarring. Although you may be able to remove your skin tag with these home remedies, they usually damage the surrounding area of the skin as well. If you want to remove the skin tag for cosmetic reasons, you may be less satisfied after the treatment than before.
Ask your doctor for surgical removal
Unfortunately, this could also be the most expensive method, since health insurance usually does not cover the cost of fibroid removal. There are three treatment methods your doctor may choose from depending on the size of the skin tag and the condition of the surrounding skin: Cutting it off with a scalpel or sterile scissors Freezing it with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) Removing it with a laser
Skin tag warts usually do not come back after removal. However, with constant rubbing, new skin warts could form in the same area. While the cause of skin tag warts is not yet known, they are more common in overweight and obese people. For this reason, maintaining healthy body weight is one of the best methods of skin wart prevention.
Consult your doctor before attempting to remove a skin tag. He can determine whether it is actually a skin tag. They can also tell you if it would be safe for you to remove them on your own and suggest the best methods. So far, there have only been a few scientific studies on home remedies for removing a skin tag. In most cases, they are only based on hearsay. Therefore, use home remedies with caution, as many of them (e.g., tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar) often cause skin irritation.