If you’ve ever noticed a little piece of dangling skin on your body, then you’ve most likely found a skin tag. While these little growths are completely benign, they can develop in places where clothes can rub against them and cause discomfort. Skin tags are most often found in and around the armpits, eyelids, groin, and neck. If you find that your skin tag is in an awkward or uncomfortable place, a dermatologist can easily remove it.
Treating Skin Tags Yourself
Chances are good that you’ve already googled “skin tags” and found a variety of home remedies and ways to remove the skin tag yourself. While some methods are safe and even effective at removing skin tags, it’s incredibly important that you consult your dermatologist first before trying any of these at-home treatments.
Not all skin tags should be treated with home remedies. Any large skin tags, are bleeding or painful, or are located in sensitive areas such as the genitals or the eyes should be treated by a dermatologist who will make sure to provide a safe, effective removal treatment.
Turning to a Dermatologist
There are several ways in which a dermatologist can remove skin tags. Some of these methods include,
- Cryotherapy: Just like with warts, a dermatologist will freeze off the tag with liquid nitrogen (it usually only takes 1-2 treatments to remove the tag)
- Cauterization: Burning off the skin tag can also effectively remove the benign growth after a couple of treatment sessions
- Ligation: Tying a thread around the tag will cut off blood flow and make the growth eventually fall off
- Excision: Your dermatologist may simply cut off the skin tag
If the skin tag isn’t large, uncomfortable, or in an awkward location then there is no reason to remove it; however, we understand that this may be purely for cosmetic reasons. In which case, your dermatologist is happy to remove the skin tag (but your health insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure).
If you want to have a skin tag removed, or if you aren’t sure whether a skin growth could be a tag, you must see your dermatologist first before you start trying any home remedies or treatments. It’s also important that everyone get an annual skin cancer screening with their dermatologist to check for suspicious or potentially cancerous growths.