When Not To Consider Home Methods

Do not try home removal techniques on skin tags that are:

  • located around the eyes
  • located around the genitals
  • very large or long
  • causing pain, bleeding, or itching

Seek medical treatment in these cases. The following are medical methods of skin tag removal:

  • Cauterization: This involves burning off the skin tag. Most tags drop away after a couple of treatments.
  • Cryotherapy: This involves applying liquid nitrogen to freeze off the tag. Usually, one or two treatments are sufficient.
  • Ligation: This involves a healthcare provider tying surgical thread around the tag to reduce blood flow, causing it to eventually drop off.
  • Excision: This involves using a blade to cut off the tag.

Skin tag removal is usually considered cosmetic, and it is unlikely to be covered by health insurance.

When to see a doctor

Health experts advise people to contact a dermatologist before attempting to remove any skin tag.

It is safest for an experienced professional to remove a tag in a medical setting — especially if the tag is large, painful, or located in a sensitive area.

Seek prompt medical attention if a skin tag or mole changes. In some cases, this can indicate skin cancer.

Skin tags are not typically a cause for medical concern. Once a doctor confirms that the growth is benign, no further action is usually necessary.

For small tags that are not located in sensitive areas, a person may consider a home removal technique. However, it is safest to see a healthcare provider for removal in a medical setting.

Also, contact a doctor if any skin tag changes or starts causing issues, such as pain or bleeding.