Skin tags, otherwise known as acrochordons, cutaneous skin tags or fibroepithelial polyps, appear as small fleshy growths that hang near eyelids, armpits, neck, groin and under breasts. Acrochordons often show up unexpectedly in middle age and occur more frequently in pregnant women and overweight people. Although a medical provider should make an evaluation before implementing any home treatment, skin tags are usually noncancerous and have good results from natural home remedies.
A common remedy to remove small skin tags at home involves tying the tag at the base with dental floss or thread. A 2009 Swedish clinical trial found that constriction of blood flow to the area kills the tissue and helps the tag to detach. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, detachment occurred in 90 percent of small skin tags under study when blood circulation to the area was reduced.
However, Mayo Clinic dermatologist, Dr. Katherine Lim, firmly states that only a physician should attempt to remove a skin tag by this method. Lim cautions that a medical professional needs to make an evaluation and diagnosis to exclude more serious skin conditions. Also, bleeding, pain and scarring may result from the process.
According to HomeRemedyHaven.com, only a handful of treatments exist for the home removal of skin tags, and clear fingernail polish ranks as one of the methods. The website recommends applying the polish over the entire skin tag twice daily until the tag detaches. Do not use near eyes, nostrils, lips or on anal skin tags.
Baking Soda & Castor Oil
The Mayo Clinic suggests that application of caustic salves on skin tags may help detachment. According to SkinTagHelp.com, a combination of baking soda and castor oil creates a salve that dries the tissue, allowing the tag to fall off in about two weeks.
Combine enough baking soda and castor oil to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to the affected areas three times daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may also dry up skin tags. According to HomeRemedyHaven.com, when applied daily, the vinegar allows skin tags to turn dark and drop off after repeated applications. Do not use near eyes or on anal tags.
Fenugreek, an herb used for centuries in Arabian, Greek, Italian and Indian medicine, contains powerful antioxidants. Although further study is needed to confirm fenugreek's efficacy as a remedy for skin tag removal, HomeRemediesForYou.com recommends soaking fenugreek seeds in water overnight and then drinking the water first thing in the morning before eating. Alternatively, you can chew the soaked seeds.
Do not ingest more than 100 g fenugreek seeds a day. People who have anemia or thyroid conditions should avoid the herb.
- National Center for Biotechnology: New Mechanical Device for Effective Removal of Skin Tags in Routine Health Care
- Mayo Clinic: Skin Tags Best Dealt With by Medical Provider
- Home Remedy Haven: Home Remedies for Skin Tags
- Skin Tag Help: Skin Tag Removal
- Home Remedies For You: Remedies to Treat Skin Tags