The Internet is full of at-home skin tag removers. However, many of these treatments, while they do remove your skin tags, can also cause irritation or damage. In this episode of DermTV, Dr. Schultz discusses these skin tag treatments as well as the one easy way to remove skin tags at home.
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The internet is full of at home products that remove skin tags. Many work but cause burning and red skin at best, and even worse side effects if you're not careful. I'll tell you about them, and also, the best way to remove skin tags at home, which is amazingly simple.
Most at home products to remove skin tags work by either chemically burning, known as cauterizing, or freezing skin tags, which then take a few days to fall off. Burning is usually done with acids or other caustic chemicals, while freezing is done with chemical sprays that literally cause the skin tags to freeze to death. During the few days it takes for the tags to fall off, there is inflammation, discomfort and burning of the surrounding skin.
As if that didn't sound bad enough, all of these products have four other issues to be aware of.
First, you need to make sure what you're treating is actually a skin tag. If it's not, you may delay proper treatment, or even make it worse. For example, you don't want to unsuccessfully treat a skin cancer as a skin tag and therefore have it grow deeper or even spread because you delayed the diagnosis and treatment.
Second, proper treatment requires precise application of the product to the skin tag and not to the surrounding skin since all skin will be damaged by the product. Allowing even a tiny amount of the chemical to spill onto normal skin causes a burning sensation for a few days until the skin heals. One product advertised online includes a "how to" video and shows such sloppy application of the product to more of the surrounding skin than to the alleged skin tag, which in the video is actually a mole, not a skin tag. That caused a 2 inch diameter area of normal surrounding skin to become bright red and painful from inflammation.
Third, since they all work by injuring the skin of the skin tag, it takes many days for the irrevocably injured skin tag to die, shrivel up and fall off. Then complete healing of the base where it was attached to the normal skin takes a few weeks.
And last, most products are advertised as "gentle but effective". Unfortunately, no chemical or physical cauterant is gentle. However, precise application to only the skin tag without spilling over to the surrounding normal skin results in less discomfort. Even a tea tree oil based product can create problems since tea tree oil, if used topically in high concentrations may cause skin irritation.
In my opinion, the best way to remove skin tags at home is to do the same thing I do in the office. I take an ice cube and chill the skin tag for 15 seconds. Then, with a sterile, very pointed small scissor... I painlessly snip the tag off at the bottom of its stalk where it rises out from the skin. Pressure with a piece of gauze for a minute will usually stop any bleeding, although often there isn't any. And if you can't "pull the trigger" with the scissor on your own skin, you can ask a friend. However, just like the first issue I discussed, only do this if you are 110% sure it's a skin tag. If you're not, consult your dermatologist.
Everyone can have beautiful, healthy, and younger looking skin, and DermTV, the Internet's daily skincare video show, will demonstrate how by revealing expert tips and techniques and by providing real solutions for real skincare issues.
Skincare (whether cosmetic or medical) previously required a trip to your dermatologist or a shopping spree at the pharmacy. And that's if you have a trusted nearby dermatologist or a local informed pharmacy. But not anymore. We at DermTV are committed to making best-in-class dermatology and skincare guidance accessible to everyone, anytime, at your computer.
Every weekday, our host, Dr. Neal Schultz, one of New York's most trusted and respected dermatologists, teaches skincare's most timely and timeless issues. Topics include: the best at home techniques and new technology for facial rejuvenation, preventing and fixing sun damage from wrinkles to skin cancer, breaking news in dermatology, general skincare topics, and more.