Skin Tags

How to Remove Skin Tags

If you have a couple of skin tags, you know that they're harmless. But if their presence embarrasses or annoys you, you'll be happy to discover that they can be removed safely. There are a few routes you can take to be tag-free.

One option is laser surgery. People who have very large skin tags might choose to have them surgically removed, even though surgery is more time consuming and costly. However, because skin tags are a cosmetic problem and not a reconstructive problem, insurance companies are not likely to pay for the surgery (and anesthesia and other costs involved). Therefore, it's worth considering non-surgical procedures.

Your doctor can also freeze the tag off with liquid nitrogen [source: University of Illinois Medical Center]. This method is known as cryotherapy. It can be done in a doctor's office rather than a hospital. While it's certainly no day at the spa, cryotherapy is less invasive and more relaxed than surgery. You may experience some pain and blistering after the treatment, but usually people heal quickly. Cauterization is another method of removal, in which the skin tag is burned off at the stalk or base [source: Harvard Health Publications]. But the easiest way for doctors to remove skin tags is to inject a local anesthetic into the area and cut them off with scissors or scalpel [source: Alai].

There are also some self-treatments for removal. One method is to tie a piece of floss or other thin string to the stalk of the skin tag, which cuts off its blood supply and causes it to fall off by itself [source: Alai].

Once skin tags are removed, there is little chance of their return, and there are little to no scars left behind. However, tags may appear in new areas [source: The New York Times Health Guide]. Read on to find out some ways to treat or prevent skin tags without visiting the doctor.