Skin Tag - Removal

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What method did you or your doctor use for removal of your skin tags?

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How are skin tags treated?

It is important to keep in mind that skin tags usually do not have to be treated. Deciding not to have treatment is always a reasonable option if the growths are not bothersome. If the tags are bothersome, multiple home and medical treatment options are available:

  • Tie off tag at narrow base with a piece of dental floss or string.

  • Freeze tag with liquid nitrogen.

  • Burn tag using electric cautery or Hyfrecator.

  • Remove tag with scissors, with or without anesthetic.

There are several effective medical ways to remove a skin tag, including removing with scissors, freezing (using liquid nitrogen), and burning (using medical electric cautery at the physician's office).

Usually small tags may be removed easily without anesthesia, while larger growths may require some local anesthesia (injected lidocaine) prior to removal. Application of a topical anesthesia cream (Betacaine cream or LMX 5% cream) prior to the procedure may be desirable in areas where there are a large number of tags.

Dermatologists (skin specialist doctors), family physicians, and internal medicine physicians are the doctors who treat skin tags most often. Occasionally, an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) is needed to remove tags very close to the eyelid margin.

There are also home remedies and self-treatments, including tying off the small tag stalk with a piece of thread or dental floss and allowing the tag to fall off over several days.

The advantage of scissor removal is that the growth is immediately removed and there are instant results. The potential disadvantage of any kind of scissor or minor surgical procedure to remove tags is minor bleeding.

Possible risks with freezing or burning include temporary skin discoloration, need for repeat treatment(s), and failure for the tag to fall off.

There is no evidence that removing tags causes more tags to grow. Rather, there are some people who may be more prone to developing skin tags and may have new growths periodically. Some patients even require periodic removal of tags at annual or quarterly intervals.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Holly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 29

I had a small flesh colored tag under my right eye for at least four years, and it had grown slightly larger. My dermatologist offered to remove it at my last check up, but I had an annual appointment with my eye doctor scheduled, and, honestly, it was so close to my eye, I felt better about the eye doctor working in that area. My experienced ophthalmologist said that he had often removed them, so we scheduled it. My insurance did not cover it, so the cost was USD 248.73. I was supine on a table. He numbed the area with a small needle, gave it 5 minutes to work. Looked at the area under a microscope and used a blade to remove it. He cauterized the spot and gave me a tiny tube labeled 'Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Ophthalmic Ointment USP' to put on it for five night before bedtime. No follow up needed. He did not biopsy it. He used codes 67800 (chalazion, single) for billing an intermediate office procedure. I had it done yesterday, so I can't address scarring, but I'd prefer to have a tiny, tiny scar there rather than the creepy skin tag. He said this method is better than snipping them off because you can get closer to the base, and there may be less chance of regrowth. I put this off for a long while, but now I am thrilled I did it. I read about all the people who removed their own skin tags. I am the queasy type and could not do that to myself. Some things are best left to professionals. Good luck, everyone. I'd say I had a 100 percent experience.

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Comment from: relieved30, (Patient) Published: March 12

I just had about 30 skin tags zapped by cauterization. It hurt awfully, as I was not given anything to numb the skin. I have them on my face, neck, under bust, and under arms. Now I am healing and using a cream to prevent infection. I will go back and remove the smaller ones on my face soon. To me the results are worth it.

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