Acrochordons, commonly known as skin tags, are small, flesh-colored skin outgrowths that can appear on anyone, at any time and on just about any area.
- What Causes Skin Tags?
- Natural Treatment Options
- Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Method 2: Use Duct Tape
- Method 3: Use Scissors
- Method 4: Use Iodine
- Method 5: Use Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Method 6: Use Nail Polish
- Tips to keep in mind
What Causes Skin Tags?
While most are painless and harmless, many consider them a big cosmetic problem. Composed of collagen fibers and blood vessels, skin tags are mostly born out of friction (the rubbing of skin against skin).
However, other factors that contribute to the growth of skin tags are:
- Presence of certain forms of human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
The common areas that develop skin tags are the neck, underarms, breasts, eyelids, groin and stomach.
While procedures like cauterization, ligation, cryosurgery, and excision do exist for skin tag removal, the high cost generally holds back many from pursuing these options.
Natural Treatment Options
Alternatively, you can use home remedies to get rid of skin tags safely and quickly. While some take time to produce results, they are definitely safe and easy to follow.
Some of the safest and fast remedies to remove skin tags at home include
Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV, a naturally acidic liquid, helps break down the excess cells in the skin tag, thus removing them easily and quickly. It has proven to be helpful in removing warts due to the acetic acid content. (1)
Things you’ll need:
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) (contains anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties)
Single-Step Treatment: Dab ACV on skin tag twice daily
- Simply soak the end of a cotton swab in apple cider vinegar and dab it on the affected area.
- Make sure the skin tag is saturated with vinegar. This can cause mild itching or a stinging sensation for a few minutes, but it will subside soon.
Repeat the treatment twice daily or two to four weeks until the skin tag is completely gone.
Method 2: Use Duct Tape
Using duct tape to get rid of a skin tag is another amazing remedy. Duct tape tends to suffocate the skin underneath the tags, causing them to die. (2)
Single-Step Treatment: Cover your skin tag with duct tape
- Simply place a generous piece of duct tape over the skin tag for 10 to 12 days continuously. If the duct tape becomes loose or falls off on its own, replace it with a new piece.
- Check the skin tag from time to time to see if it is still attached or ready to fall off.
Method 3: Use Scissors
Cutting off your skin tag is the fastest solution for getting rid of it. However, safety is a priority when performing the treatment by yourself.
Single-Step Treatment: Snip off your skin tag with scissors
- Begin with sterilizing your scissors, either by using a cotton ball to wipe rubbing alcohol over the blades or boiling them in water for 10 minutes and then letting them dry.
- Wash your hands thoroughly using an antibacterial soap.
- Pinch your skin tag with tweezers to extend the tag and provide more space for the scissors. To reduce pain, you can also numb the area with a little ice first.
- Grab your scissors and snip off the skin tag as close to the base as possible. Snip at one shot to minimize pain, although this should only feel like a pinch.
- Finish with cleaning the wound and covering it with a bandage. It may bleed for a while, but this is normal.
Method 4: Use Iodine
Iodine is a natural element that breaks down the skin cells and causes skin tags to fall off safely. Though, there are no direct studies proving the effectiveness of iodine on skin tags; they have proven to be helpful in the case of wart removal. (3)
Things you’ll need:
- Iodine tincture (contains antiseptic properties)
Single-Step Treatment: Apply iodine on your skin tag
- You’ll want to avoid applying iodine on the skin surrounding the tag. You can do this by rubbing a barrier of coconut oil onto the healthy skin before applying the iodine.
- Grab a dropper and fill it with iodine tincture.
- Apply it on your skin tag.
- Seal the tag with duct tape or a bandage.
Do this once every day until the skin tag falls off.
Method 5: Use Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil contains antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that help dry out skin tags, thus enabling them to fall off easily.
Things you’ll need:
- Tea tree essential oil (fights bacteria and clears bacterial infection)
Single-Step Treatment: Massage tea tree oil on skin tag
- Simply soak a cotton swab with tea tree essential oil and dab it on the affected area.
- Gently massage the oil over the skin tag using circular motions for 2 to 3 minutes.
Repeat this twice daily until your skin tag completely vanishes.
Method 6: Use Nail Polish
Nail polish is another effective treatment for getting rid of skin tags. Like the duct tape remedy, nail polish suffocates the skin underneath the tags, causing them to die.
Single-Step Treatment: Coat your skin tag with nail polish
- Just coat your skin tag well with nail polish and allow it to dry completely.
- Leave it on for 4 to 5 hours.
Repeat this at least 2 times a day continually until the tag completely comes off.
Tips to keep in mind
- For the cutting method, you can also use nail clippers instead of scissors. They are far easier to use if the skin tag happens to be on the back of your neck or some area that is hard to reach.
- Disinfect the area after your skin tag falls off, lest you develop an infection. You may use rubbing alcohol or iodine for disinfecting your wound.
- Do not pull off your skin tag. This will only worsen the condition and lead to irritation and infection. Skin tags are a living part of the body, attached to you by a narrow stalk. Grabbing it and pulling it off will only cause pain, bleeding and scarring.
- Johnston CS, Gaas CA. Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect. MedGenMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/?_escaped_fragment_=po=59.3750. Published 2006.
Focht 3 r, Spicer C, Fairchok MP. The efficacy of duct tape vs. cryotherapy in the treatment of verruca vulgaris (the common wart). Archives of The Pediatrics & Adolescents MEdicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12361440. Published October 2002.
Capriotti K, Stewart KP, Pelletier JS, Capriotti J. A Novel Topical 2% Povidone–Iodine Solution for the ... Dermatology and Therapy. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674451/. Published December 2015.