How To Get Rid Of Skin Tags

Have you noticed tiny pieces of soft, hanging skin suddenly appearing on some of your body parts? If the answer is yes, there is nothing to worry about. Scientifically known as acrochordons, these tiny projections are called skin tags and are generally harmless (via Harvard Health Publishing).

According to Medical News Today, skin tags are common and can appear anywhere on your body. However, they are most likely to be found in places where your skin undergoes rubbing or chafing, such as creases and folds of the skin. Although anyone can develop skin tags, they are usually found in people aged 40 and above and can equally affect men and women.

As Harvard Health Publishing explains, these projections could be of the same color as your skin or could be lighter or darker in shade. They could appear on your body due to hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy, when you gain weight, or develop diabetes, and could also be because of genetics, i.e. if the condition runs in your family.

While they are benign — which means they are not a sign of cancer — they are often considered unsightly and many people want to get rid of them.

Why do people remove skin tags?

Since skin tags are harmless, some people are not bothered by them and prefer not doing anything to them. However, many people don't like them for aesthetic reasons and want to remove them, especially if they appear on exposed body parts, such as the neck or eyelids (via Medical News Today).

While skin tags may fall off on their own or may burst under pressure, if you want to get rid of them, the first thing to keep in mind is not to pull or cut them yourself. According to Water's Edge Dermatology, many a time, people try to cut their skin tags with the help of scissors or nail clippers without realizing that the practice could lead to infections or uncontrollable bleeding. Sometimes, cutting a skin tag yourself can bleed so much that you might even have to go to the ER to stop it. You should always make sure that it is a skin tag and not an indicator of some other type of skin condition that may require medical treatment. It is best to go to a dermatologist to seek help.

Procedures to remove skin tags

As related by Healthline, there are over-the-counter (and unproven) options that can help you get rid of skin tags. However, it's recommended you consult with a doctor regarding the issue. if you want them to be removed instantly, there are four medical procedures that can effectively do so. All these methods are generally painless, as your doctor will use a numbing gel, if needed, before starting the procedure. 

Cryotherapy is a method involving liquid nitrogen, to freeze the skin tags; the frozen tissue soon falls off. This is the most commonly-practiced method of skin tag removal. The second method is surgical removal, in which your doctor will use a scalpel or scissors to cut them off. The third method is called electrosurgery or electrocautery, in which your doctor will use high-frequency electrical energy to burn off the skin tag.

Skin tags can also be removed by a method called ligation, in which your doctor will tie a surgical thread around the skin tag to cut off its blood flow, per Healthline. The tissue will then die and fall off.