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What are SKIN TAGS and what causes SKIN TAGS.


DIAGNOSIS Skin Tags - Is it a skin tag?

TYPES of Skin Tags.

The professionals behind

Donald Urquhart,(BA & DipAppPsy), Fully Registered Psychologist. Like many people, has had skin tags.

Dr. Annette Kirchgessner, Phd (Neuroscience), medical university Professor in the Dept of Gastroenterology. An incredible addition to our authors, and does most of the writing for
Chris Urquhart, Student, studying social work. Has a passion for medical and veterinarian history and provides back up support, such as finding old photos of skin tags.

Skin Tags Removal

Can Skin Tags Be Removed?

Yes. Skin tags can be removed. Your General Practice physician is qualified to remove skin tags using any of the following methods:

  • Cryotherapy - freezing the tag with liquid nitrogen

  • Strangulation or tying off the tag with a thread or suture- cuts off the blood supply

  • Surgical excision - cutting off the tag with a scalpel or scissors

  • Electrocautery – where a very hot, small blade is used to cut off the skin tag while sealing the blood vessel at the same time to stop the bleeding.

These procedures for skin tag removal generally involve little or no pain or discomfort. However, they all tend to leave scars.


Skin Tag Removal by Cryotherapy

Skin tag cryotherapy is perceived as inexpensive (it does not require anesthesia) but there are a number of drawbacks. Cryotherapy is not targeted just on the skin tags, so healthy tissue is also destroyed, it is painful and there is risk of blistering, scarring, and pigmentation changes.


Skin tag Removal by Strangulation - Removing skin tags with string or cotton.

This type of skin tag removal is a popular home remedy.

Alternatively, people can undertake “self treatment” by traumatizing the most accessible skin tags in different ways including the classic tying off with a sewing thread or dental floss at the base of the tag. When the thread is tied tightly around the stalk, the blood supply is cut off so that the skin tag would die and drop off.

I tried the “strangulation” method to remove a small skin tag on the back of my neck. It’s very difficult to tie the thread while pulling outward on the skin tag so a third hand would definitely help. The skin tag shrunk and fell off in about five days. There was no pain, no scar, no recurrence.

The impairment of blood flow in the skin tag is central to their treatment. Remember skin tags are about as vascularized as the skin surrounding them. Occlusion of the blood flow is necessary to promote necrosis of the skin tag. When occlusion is incomplete, a degree of inflammation can be expected. The inflammatory response, by causing swelling, can even enhance the occlusive effect.


Skin Tag Removal by knife/scalpel - as Surgery or as Home Remedy?

If the skin tags are small they can be snipped off with the aid of a topical anesthetic. When removed by snipping, skin tags do not usually bleed.

You might try to remove small skin tags yourself by snipping them off with a pair of scissors. However, this is considered a risky procedure because of the chance of infection. If this is done at home, you should make sure that the cutting instrument (scissors, nail clipper) is well cleaned and sanitized to prevent the possibility of infection. Also, you might mistake a skin tag for some other skin growth such as a mole and these should definitely not be removed by you at home in such a way - the mis-diagnosis of skin tags by their owners are common enough.


Other Skin Tag Removal Home Remedies:

There are herbal ointments available for skin tag removal as well as home remedies including castor oil with baking powder, tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar.

Use baking powder and castor oil for skin tag removal: Just mix these two ingredients together until they form a paste. Now you need to apply this pasty substance three times a day onto your skin tags. Some people report their skin tags fall off within about a week.


Spontaneous Removal of Skin Tags:

Spontaneous removal of skin tags can occur , as sometimes skin tags fall off and disappear without any treatment.

This can occur when the tag is twisted during normal daily activities. When this happens, blood flow is cut off from the skin tag, causing it to die.


Skin Tag Removal Considerations

When treating skin tags, the size of the skin tag matters.

Small skin tags offer little resistance so the vasculature would easily collapse from externally applied pressure. However, the presence of nevus cells and a firm connective tissue network may protect the vasculature at the base from pressure - skin tag removal failure is therefore more likely to happen with the larger skin tags.

Generally, successful removal of skin tags is highest for smaller tags:

  • For skin tags with a base diameter of <1 mm, the success rate for skin tag removal is ~ 90 percent.
  • For skin tags with base diameter <2mm, the success rate for skin tag removal is ~ 76 percent.

When removing skin tags, where the skin tag is located on the body does matter

A better outcome is observed when skin tags are located in the individual’s neck and axillae (armpit) regions. That is, these are the regions that give the highest success rate for successful skin tag removal.


Skin Tags Removal in Summary

Skin tags can be removed by a number of different medical methods.

Removing skin tags at home is possible using scissors or strangulation.

Most forms of skin tags removal will leave a scar / lump.

Essential oils appear to be a good non scarring alternative for skin tag removal.



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