Wondering how to cut off a skin tag? Can you cut it using scissors? A blade, perhaps? Or can you just apply a special cream and wait for it to fall off by itself? These are the questions of people who are suffering from having these skin tags. Yes, they do not affect our health, but they can still be pretty annoying.
Worst of all, people have this connotation that those who have a lot of skin tags are unhygienic and can even infect other people. Surely, these ideas are prehistoric as there is no truth to them. So, we will also discuss that issue in this article.
At the same time, we will talk about the different ways you can get rid of a skin tag. Do keep in mind that even though there are effective ways to do it by yourself, it is still best to consult a professional to minimize any risks. So, treat this read as a general guideline instead of a set list of what you must do.
With that said, are you ready to get rid of those pesky tags? Then keep on reading.
What Is a Skin Tag?
Before we delve deep into the topic of cutting off skin tags, let us first talk about what it really is. In this way, we can better understand if there are really risks that come with removing them on our own without the help of a professional.
Dermatologists call them as “cutaneous tags” or “acrochordons,” and the good thing is, they are benign or harmless. More often than not, they form due to constant friction of the skin. The areas where there are constant rubbing are the neck, groin, and under the arms.
The friction that we are talking about does not only refer to skin-to-skin contact though. The simple rubbing of cloth against the skin can also cause skin tags to form. Besides that main reason, skin tags can also be a product of genetics. If your parents or other relatives tend to have a lot of skin tags, it is likely that you will have them too.
People who are prone to getting them are those who are 50 years old and above. Accordingly, people who are obese can also get them as their skin tend to rub against itself a lot.
Do You Really Have a Skin Tag?
Now that you know what skin tags are, we will move on to determine if what you have is really a skin tag. This is kind of tricky because skin ailments usually look alike. So, before doing anything else, it is best to know that what you are stressing over is really a skin tag.
The telltale sign that what you have is really a skin tag is that if it has a peduncle. What is this peduncle? As quirky as it sounds, it is this tiny stem-like flap of skin that holds the skin tag against your skin. Therefore, this peduncle is the culprit behind your hanging skin tag.
As for the texture, skin tags are usually soft and smooth. In terms of shape, on the other hand, they are usually round, asymmetrical, or wrinkly. They are usually flesh-colored, or they mimic the color of your skin.
Do pay attention to the skin surrounding it as it can be a bit darker because of hyperpigmentation. Some skin tags can also turn very dark when they are twisted because that means that there is no proper blood flow.
Now that you are sure that what you really have is a skin tag, it is time to go over some safeguards. Again, as we have mentioned before, it is still best to go to a professional, but if you must really do it by yourself, at least follow these safety precautions.
- Use sterile tools. You can sterilize them by cleaning them in a 50:50 solution of boiling water and alcohol. You can leave them there for five minutes.
- Disinfect the area around the skin tag. You can purchase a disinfectant that people use in the hospital in any drugstores. Alternatively, you can just rub the area with alcohol, seconds before cutting it off.
- Clean your hands. Or even better, use gloves.
- Make sure to have any aftercare products in handy.
- Do the process when there are other people at home, so they can help you get to a hospital if something wrong happens.
- Never expose the recently cut area of the skin to the sun. Use a cream or lotion to aid the skin recovery or healing.
- Do not remove skin tags near your eyes or other sensitive areas of the body.
How to Cut Off a Skin Tag
Are you now ready to learn how to cut off a skin tag? There are a lot of ways on how to get rid of a skin tag. Here are some:
- Ligation: The process of tying a surgical thread to cut off blood flow.
- Cryotherapy: The method of freezing it with liquid nitrogen.
- Electrosurgery: The technique wherein the skin tag is burnt off with the use of high-frequency electrical energy.
- Surgical removal: The procedure that makes use of a scalpel or scissors to remove skin tags.
Looking at the different methods of removing skin tags, we can conclude that what you can do at home is the surgical removal. You can follow these steps:
- Make sure that you have a sharp and sterile tool. Use what you are comfortable with. Surgical scissors or a scalpel are the best options.
- Disinfect the area by using alcohol or a disinfectant.
- It is best to use a numbing cream as you will feel pain once the cut is made.
- Make sure to wait until the numbing cream takes effect.
- Get your tool of choice and place it against the peduncle. Make sure that the area that you are going to cut is as close to your skin as possible, but not too close that it will nick it.
- Deliver a gentle but forceful snip to cut the tag in one go. If you are using a blade or a scalpel, gently slide the blade down without too much back and forth motions.
- Once the skin tag is cut, make sure that there are no bits of the peduncle left and that it is as flat as possible.
- Disinfect the area again.
- Apply a healing cream.
Those are the precautions and tips that you can use if you really plan on cutting off a skin tag at the comfort of your own home. We are in no way discouraging you from seeking a professional to get rid of them, but again, we are just laying possible options for removal. Always be careful and skin tags begone!