Removing Skin Tags 

There are several reasons for removing skin tags. One of these reasons is not because skin tags are dangerous or will develop into skin cancer or some other major skin care problem. The main reason for skin tag removal is for appearance or cosmetic reasons. Skin tags do vary in size, shape, and sometimes color and depending on their location on the body, having them can affect a person's appearance. This is especially the case when the skin tags appear in the facial region. When skin tags are visible individuals may be embarrassed and become stressed which can lead to a vast number of other health problems. Therefore, removing skin tags to improve a person’s facial appearance or to improve the look of the skin on other parts of the body are principle reasons to remove skin tags.

Another reason for skin tag removal is for practical purposes. Although most skin tags are small, some can be larger and depending on the location of the skin tag it can be uncomfortable. The main reason for being uncomfortable is the constant rubbing of the skin tag against clothing, jewelry, or other body parts. This friction irritates the skin tag and creates constant pain and sometimes frequent bleeding. If the skin surface of the skin growth is broken it may become infected and therefore this is a valid reason for wanting a skin tag removed. If a skin tag becomes twisted, it may cause pain and therefore would be a reason to have it removed as well.

Finally, although as stated previously, skin tags are not a health concern, sometimes individuals like to have them removed just to be extra safe.

Once removed, there is no preference for a skin tag to regrow at the same skin site. However, if a person is susceptible to skin tags they may by chance appear at or near the same site or perhaps other skin areas of the body.

Methods for Removing Skin Tags

There are essentially two classes of skin tag treatments, those performed by a doctor and those performed by individuals in their own home. This page discusses skin tag removal methods performed by a physician.

The removal of skin tags is a fairly easy procedure that is performed by a doctor or dermatologist right in the doctor’s office or clinic. With a physician performing the removal, there are the benefits of sterile conditions and immediate help should any complications occur. There is significantly less risk when a physician performs the removal of skin tags when compared to home removal methods, especially those that involve surgical removal.

A dermatologist has various techniques at his/her disposal to deal with the how to remove skin tags question. Local anesthesia may or may not be used depending on:

  • the patient
  • the size of the skin tag
  • the location of the skin tag
  • the preference of the physician.

Skin tags do not contain nerves and therefore, the removal is often painless. Also, which skin tag removal method used does depend on the factors listed above.

How to Remove Skin Tags Treatment List

Freezing

Freezing the skin tag using liquid nitrogen, also known as cryotherapy, is one way to eliminate skin tags. This popular skin tag treatment technique is also commonly used in the removal of skin warts. The very cold substance is applied to the skin tag and the skin tissue dies and eventually falls off. More than one application of liquid nitrogen may be required and spread over several visits, usually based on the size of the skin tag. This procedure is quick and carriers little risk of infection developing afterwards. Minimal pain might be experienced.

Cutting

Cutting off the skin tag is another skin tag treatment method. This is performed by a physician with the use of sharp scissors or a scalpel. This method allows the removal of the skin tag immediately. It may be a little painful and there is a risk of bleeding. Under sterile conditions and with proper bandaging and care afterwards, the risk of infection exists but is much lower than if this type of removal is performed at home.

Cauterization

Cauterization can be used as a skin tag treatment. This involves burning off the skin tag tissue either with an electrically heated metal wire or with the use of a laser. Bleeding is not a problem with this type of removal since the treatment process seals the blood vessels.

Ligation

Removing skin tags can also be performed via ligation or in other words tying up the skin tag with a string at its base so that the blood supply is cut off and the skin tag dies and falls off.

Related skin tag resources:

skin tags and causes | symptoms and pictures of skin tags removing skin tags at home | other removal

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