Is it OK to cut off skin tags?

Skin tag removal

First, the good news: Skin tags are benign and cause no symptoms. These harmless growths of skin can be right on the skin surface or seem to sprout from a thin stalk of skin and hang off the body. Also called cutaneous tags, soft fibromas, acrochordons, and fibroepithelial polyps, skin tags are mostly flesh-colored growths, although some may be darker in color.Skin tags are usually more annoying to look at than anything else, but understanding what they are, and aren’t, can be reassuring. And though what causes skin tags isn’t always known, skin tag treatment is pretty straightforward — they are easily removed.

Photo on lucereskin.com

What are skin tags?

Ways to remove skin tags

Acrochordons, also known as skin tags, are very common benign skin growths. Acrochordons affect both men and women with equal frequency, and as many as half of all adults can get them. The tags cause no medical problems, but they can be bothersome. Of the various at-home removal techniques marketed, some are more useful than others.While skin tags require no treatment and can fall away on their own, medical extraction is also available. A doctor can recommend this for tags that get caught on clothing or are otherwise painful. A person may also want them to be removed for cosmetic reasons, especially when they are on visible areas, like the face. Skin tags can vary in color and size from a few millimeters to 5cm (about 2 inches) wide. Skin tags are often found on the neck, armpits, around the groin area, or under the breasts. They can also appear on the eyelids or under the folds of the buttocks.

Why do skin tags occur?

The cause of skin tags is unknown; however, there are many theories as to why they occur. Irritation or friction to the skin, as happens with skin rubbing against itself in body folds, may play a role in their formation. Skin tags appear more in people who are overweight or have diabetes. This can be due to body habitus (more skin folds), but some people reckon insulin resistance somehow contributes to the development of these harmless tumors. A study of 49 patients with skin tags showed that the human papillomavirus (HPV) was present in a lot of the growths, suggesting the virus plays a part in their development. It is also possible that acrochordons are hereditary or simply due to aging and loss of elastic tissue. There is a genetic disorder known as Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome that is marked by numerous skin tags together with other cutaneous and systemic findings. Pregnant women can also develop skin tags due to changes in their hormonal levels. Some people also get them for no apparent reason. 

Should I remove skin tags?

However, you may think about having skin tags removed if they’re affecting your self-esteem, or if they get caught on clothing or jewelry and bleed. This is because skin tag extraction is regarded as cosmetic surgery. Sometimes, they can fall off on their own if the tag has twisted up and died from lacking blood supply.

Removing acrochordons

Don’t try to extract a skin tag without talking to a medical professional first. If you have a skin tag that’s problematic consider making an appointment to have it extracted.Cutaneous tags can easily be burnt or frozen off just how warts removed. They can also be surgically removed, sometimes requiring the use of a local anesthetic. Freezing or burning skin tags can cause skin irritation and temporary discoloration, and the skin tag may not fall off and need further treatment. Surgical extraction has the advantage of removing the skin tag completely, but minor bleeding can occur.If your tag is small with a narrow base, your doctor may suggest that you try and remove it yourself by tying a piece of dental floss or cotton to the base of the cutaneous tag to cut off its supply of blood and make it die off eventually (ligation) cut it off with fine sterile scissors. Never try to remove large skin tags yourself because they can bleed very heavily.

How to tell if it is a skin tag or wart?

Compared with warts, skin tags are: smooth and soft (warts tend to be rougher with an irregular surface), knobbly and hang off the skin (warts are usually slightly raised or flat), and not contagious (warts spread very easily, so a sudden outbreak or cluster of growths is more likely to be warts).

Home remedies for removing skin tag

Photo on hellobacsi.com

Consult with a doctor before trying out the following methods.

Use a tag removal device

Skin tags do not need treatment and may fall away on their own, but medical removal is possible. Skin tag removal kits are accessible for purchase online and in medical stores. One can use the device to cut off the blood supply to the base of the tag with a tiny band. This is referred to as ligation. Devoid of blood, the cells will die, and the tag will drop off, usually within 10 days.

Use a piece of string

Some people try ligation with a piece of dental floss or string. It can be difficult without the help of a device or another person. It may require tightening the string or floss daily as the tag may reduce in size. Before adopting this method, clean the skin, string, and hands thoroughly to prevent infecting the area.

Skin tag removal cream

Skin tag removal kits with cream and an applicator are available. Usually, only one application of the cream is needed. Instructions for using some kits recommend cleansing the skin and filing down the tag before putting on the cream, to ensure that it is fully absorbed. The removal cream may have a mild stinging sensation. Tags should fall off in 2 to 3 weeks of use.

Using a freezing kit

A person can use a product with liquid nitrogen to freeze off cutaneous tags. These products are available in drugstores and pharmacies. As always, make sure to follow the instructions. Several applications may be required before a growth falls away, but this normally occurs within 10 days. Ensure the spray doesn’t come into contact with the surrounding skin. Apply some petroleum jelly to protect the skin around the tag.

Apply Tea tree oil

This essential oil is used to treat many skin conditions, including skin tags. However, only anecdotal evidence supports its use. Apply some drops of the tea tree oil to a cotton ball, which is then affixed onto the skin tag with a bandage. The cotton ball is left on the tag for about 10 minutes, three times daily. It can take several days or weeks for the tag to fall off. Use this remedy with caution as tea tree oil can irritate sensitive skin. Never use tea tree oil for tags around the eyes.

Apple cider vinegar

Little research has been done on the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for skin tag removal. Soak a cotton ball in some ACV vinegar and affix it to the tag with a bandage for around 10 minutes two or three times a day, until the tag falls off. Monitor the skin for irritation and discontinue use if there are any adverse reactions experienced. Do not use around the eyes.


Anecdotal evidence suggests that one can apply liquid iodine to remove acrochordons. First, protect the surrounding skin by applying some petroleum jelly or coconut oil to the skin. Soak a Q-tip in some iodine and spread it across the tag. Cover the section with a bandage until the iodine dries. Repeat this treatment two times a day until the tag drops off.

Cutting it off

A doctor can recommend cutting away the growth with a sharp blade or a pair of scissors. Never try this with medium or large skin tags, as this can cause severe bleeding. Tags ordinarily measure between a few millimeters to 2 inches in width. Only use this method if the skin tag has a very narrow base. Scissors or blades should be sterilized before and after use. Seek medical advice before attempting this, and never cut off skin tags around the eyes or genitals.

When home remedies for skin tags are not appropriate

Photo on gwinnettmedical.blogspot.com

Skin tag removal around the eyes is dangerous. Home remedies are not fitting for skin tags that are:

  • located near the eyes or genitals
  • very large or long
  • causing pain and discomfort, bleeding, or itching

Seek medical treatment if your tags apply to any of these cases. The following are medical techniques of skin tag removal:

  • Cauterization: This entails burning off the skin tag. Most tags will drop away after 1or 2 treatments.
  • Cryotherapy: A medical professional will use liquid nitrogen to freeze off the tag. Normally, one or two sessions are sufficient.
  • Ligation: The skin tag is tied off with surgical thread, to reduce blood flow.
  • Excision: A professional will use a surgical blade to cut off the tag. Skin tag removal is customarily considered cosmetic, and it is unlikely to be covered by health insurance.

How to tighten skin?

To make our skin tighter, eat healthily, exfoliate your skin, limit UV exposure, and use

Scroll to Top