As we age, many unexpected things happen to our skin: age spots show up, crepey skin makes an appearance. But what are these freaky little flaps of skin that all of a sudden are scattered all over my body?!? These odd little items are called “skin tags”, and if you’re not sure what they are they may be a bit scary. Fear not! skin tags are a natural by-product of aging and even young children get them. In fact, I had about 30 skin tags as a child with a big one growing on the bottom of my lip and mine are gone and I am still here to talk about them!
And while unsightly, skin tags are not dangerous – just a bit irritating!
Here’s everything you need to know about skin tags including what skin tags are in the first place, skin tag causes and skin tag removal.
What Are Skin Tags?
The most important point is that skin tags are not something to be afraid of. These flesh-colored growths are generally benign, and can show up anywhere on your body. Some people are born with skin tags, some develop them later in life and some lucky people never experience skin tags at all! Skin tags don’t discriminate: they show up on individuals of all races, shapes, ethnicities. Both men and women are vulnerable to this annoying condition, so don’t think your significant other is exempt!
Skin Tag Causes
If you’ve been wondering what skin tags are caused from, you’re not alone. Wearing your clothing too tight or having skin-on-skin rubbing can cause this annoying condition. You’re more likely to develop skin tags in areas where there is a lot of moisture and sweat such as underarms, your neck and groin area. Oddly enough, your eyelids are also a common location for skin tags, and no one is quite sure why. Pregnant women have an overabundance of hormones, which can contribute to skin tags. Another potential cause is steroid use that causes changes in the overall level of estrogen and testosterone in the body.
Are Skin Tags Dangerous?
In general, skin tags are not a dangerous condition. However, untreated skin tags can become irritated and even inflamed or infected – which can become problematic. When you take care of the situation when you first notice a small skin tag, it will be easier to treat or remove with natural methods. It’s important to note the difference between skin tags and lumps. When in doubt, have your doctor take a quick peek to be sure you’re not overlooking a sign of pre-cancerous skin.
How to Get Rid of Skin Tags Naturally
Depending on how many skin tags you have, you may choose to visit a doctor to have them safely removed. While this is always an option, it’s important to note that insurance generally considers this a cosmetic procedure and will not cover the removal of skin tags. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and effective ways to remove skin tags at home. Here’s a quick overview of methods I would recommend:
• Vitamin E Oil: Pure, high-quality Vitamin E should be applied to the skin several times a day, and then covered with a bandage. The powerful antioxidant properties will eventually reduce the size and visibility of the skin tag, but it could take several weeks to a month before you see results.
• Iodine: Remember when your Mom put iodine on cuts when you were younger? Paint liquid iodine on your skin tags several times a day to break down the cells and slowly remove the skin tag. You may want to protect surrounding skin with coconut oil before gently applying the iodine to the skin tag only.
• Coconut Oil: Is there anything coconut oil doesn’t do?!? I love this versatile option. Not only will it completely moisturize your skin, but the powerful anti-microbial action will dissolve the cell walls of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. Ewww…
• String it Up: If your skin tag is relatively large or extended from your body, one simply option is to tie a thin string or piece of unflavored floss around it! Leave this string in place until the skin tag dies and falls off, in approximately a week. Note: when using this method, it’s important to be extremely careful and keep from disturbing the skin tag. Skin tags that are removed quickly or pulled off can cause excessive bleeding and are prone to dangerous infection. And hey, this is what my Dad used on me to get rid of my skin tags as this was apparently how it was done in the Old country (England).
• Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is another of those “cure all” potions that is incredibly versatile. The pH levels of this natural powerhouse can kill harmful fungi and bacteria. Soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and apply it to the offending area, covered with a Band Aid. The first time, check after 20 minutes to be sure there’s no irritation to the skin. If you’re good, you’ll want to follow this method at least twice a day – and sleep with the cotton ball in place. While it may take days or even weeks before the skin tag dries up and disappears, this is one of the safest and most natural methods for removing skin tags.
• Tea tree oil: The strong antiseptic properties of tea tree oil can help kill fungal infections while soothing the skin. Not only is it great on skin tags, but it works well on eczema, acne and psoriasis, too!
It’s important to keep in mind that you may need to try several different natural treatments for skin tags before you find the one that works best for your body’s chemistry. Be patient, and you’ll be skin tag-free in no time! Do you have a great natural treatment for skin tags? Share it with me on my Facebook page or drop me an email! I would love to use your tips in future blog posts.
Til Next Time,
Growing Younger Everyday