Skin Tags Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions on skin tags.
- What Are Skin Tags?
- What Causes Skin Tags?
- Where Do Skin Tags Grow?
- Are Skin Tags Contagious?
- Can Anyone Get A Skin Tag?
- Are Skin Tags Covered By Medical Insurance?
- Are There Skin Tag Removal Methods At Home?
- What Are The Surgical Methods For Skin Tag Removal?
- Will Skin Tags Grow Back?
Skin tags, medically known as acrochordons are small, skin colored growths that are attached to the skin usually by small stalks or pieces of skin. Although not the same color as warts, they are often confused with warts because they protrude from the skins surface. Skin tags can range in size but are generally about 5mm in size but can grow as big as a few centimeters.
The good news is that skin tags are very common and generally harmless growths. However, they can irritate, sometimes bleed and they can be unsightly if the appear where they can be seen by others. This is why skin tag sufferers look for skin tag removal methods.
It is not known how or why what causes skin tags or how they develop but there are some very good theories. The most common theory is they develop when there are flaps or excess folds of skin on the body or where the skin rubs together and causes friction. It is also though that hormones can play a part in skin tag development as pregnant women are prone to skin tags.
Skin tags can grow anywhere on the body but some of the more common locations are on the face, eyelids, neck, under the armpits, under the breasts, the groin, the genital areas of both men and women or anywhere where flaps of skin rub together, causing friction.
The good news is that unlike warts and the HPV virus, there is not any real proof that skin tags are contagious. Therefore they will not spread from person to person or to other parts of your body simply by touch.
Skin tags are not dangerous in almost all cases and thus do not need to be removed. However, they are often removed for cosmetic reason if they can be seen by others – ie they are unsightly or if they cause irritation by rubbing against the skin or clothes. They are small, harmless, benign skin growths. However, it is always wise to get them checked out in case they are not skin tags and something else, or if their shape or color begins to change or start bleeding.
Anyone at any age can develop a skin tag or skin tags, although they are more prevalent in the older population. However, children do get skin tags, especially in areas of friction such as under the armpits, the groin or the eyelids. Women during pregnancy may also develop skin tags. Also people who are overweight can get skin tags as the skin starts to rub where there is excess skin due to the increased weight.
It is estimated that 50%+ of the population will get a skin tag at some point in their lives. They are not dangerous or bad for your health and therefore do not need to be removed for medical reasons and they can appear on perfectly healthy individuals.
Unfortunately in almost all cases skin tag removal is not covered by medical insurance. This is because the majority of reasons for removing a skin tag is for cosmetic reasons or if they are getting caught on clothing. As they are not health related reasons they are not covered by medical insurance.
Before attempting any type of skin tag removal at home also check with a medical professional to ensure you are trying to remove a skin tag on not some other type of skin problem.
Below are methods to remove skin tags yourself. Some are not for the faint hearted and not recommended, but they are removal methods.
- Skin tag removal cream
There are skin tag removal creams that you can use to remove skin tags at home. You will need to complete your due diligence to find creams that really do work and creams that don’t. We have provided a list of the popular natural skin tag removal creams HERE.
- Cutting off a skin tag
You can cut off a skin tag yourself with a sterile scalpel or with nail clippers. This is not recommended as it can be painful, it will bleed and you may catch an infection.
- Tying Dental Floss Around the Skin Tag
Another home method is to tie dental floss around the base of the tag. This will stop blood from entering the tag and eventually it will fall off in a few days – or not!
- Duct Tape
With this method you place a bit of duct tape over the skin tag so no air can get at it and leave it for a few days. Keep checking to see if the skin tag has fallen off. If it hasn’t simply replace the Duct Tape and wait some more. Obviously, this isn’t really a viable method if the skin tag is on your genitals, or face.
- Nail Polish
Some people claim to have had success with nail polish although I have my doubts. The theory is you paint the skin tag with nail polish and after a few days it should fall off. Why? Because as the nail polish dries out it dries out your skin tag and makes it fall off!
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
This method does seem to have had some success. With a Q tip, cotton bud or with your finger, simply rub apple cider finger into the skin tag two to three times per day until it falls off.
- Tea Tree Oil
This method is similar to the apple cider vinegar method but instead of using ACV, you apply tea tree oil two to three times per day until the skin tag falls off.
Below are methods that a Doctor or Dermatologist will use to remove skin tags.
- Cutting off the skin tag
The Doctor will slice of the skin tag with scissors or a scalpel.
With Cryotherapy, the Docotor uses Liquid nitrogen to freeze off the skin tag by destroying the skin tag cells.
Under local anesthetic an electric current is passed through the skin tag, burns it off and cauterizes the skin at the same time.
As of writing this, there in no proof that removing a skin tag or skin tags will cause others to grow in it’s place. However, some people because of the lifestyle are far more prone to getting skin tags than others. So removing existing skin tags will not cause an outbreak of other skin tags to appear, but you may be susceptible to skin tags anyway.