Updated: Sep 8
With the threat of COVID pandemic looming large, no one really wants to go to the hospital for removing skin tags. At-home skin tag removal looks very attractive but is it really effective or safe. We will cover all your concerns and talk about some of the popular DIY skin tag removal options.
What are Skin Tags:
Skin tags are benign skin growths that look like soft flaps of skin and can vary in colour and size. This is a common skin condition, completely harmless but can become an eyesore. Skin tags generally develop between the folds of skin for example armpits, neck, eyelids, groin area, and under breasts.
Skin tags can occur among people of any age or gender but they are more likely among the elderly and people with obesity or type 2 diabetes. Sometimes the changing hormone levels can also lead to higher chances of developing skin tags among pregnant women.
Does NHS cover Skin tag removal?
Though skin tags are generally not painful or harmful but some times friction and other skin conditions can irritate them. You may leave the skin tags as it but if you feel them tobe uncomely or irritating then you can choose to remove them in various simple ways. There are many hospitals offering surgical removal but you may also choose the simple and effective at-home skin tag removal options. Still, it is always advisable to consult your GP if you have any doubts.
Usually, NHS doesn’t cover the cost to remove skin tags. This is because it is regarded as cosmetic surgery and cosmetic surgeries are covered only if the initial problem can lead to serious medical or mental health issues. More about cosmetic surgeries on NHS here.
Home skin tag removal solutions
Surgical skin tag removal options may not be worth the expenditure in most cases. In fact, in most cases you don’t require a medical treatment or a visit to a doctor. If you choose you can remove the skin tags right there at your home. Here are some DIY skin tag removal options you can choose from:
1. Tea Tree Oil / Apple Cider Vinegar:
Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil derived from the leaves of Australian Tea tree. Tea Tree Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar work by drying out the skin tag’s surface until they dry out completely and fall off. These work best on very small skin tags. Whilst they may remove larger skin tags but it may take longer to work as well as being labour intensive. They usually need to be applied multiple times each day until treatment is complete. This can take up to several weeks.
2. Vitamin E / Garlic:
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is used extensively in skincare creams especially anti-wrinkle creams. Massaging vitamin E on the skin tag and its surroundings may ultimately lead to skin tag growth to vanish. Similarly, you can use Garlic which is sometimes considered to work against skin inflammation.
3. Cutting Skin Tags Off:
As the name suggests, you can choose to simply cut the skin tag using a sharp blade. You can find various videos on how to go about doing this. However, it is must be noted that even you manage to sterilize all the equipment there is a very high chance that cutting skin tags off will lead to bleeding and may cause infection. If you want to cut off the skin tag it is best to let the doctor handle it.
How to use TagBand
Step by step:
1) Clean the skin tag and the surrounding area with one of the provided cleansing swabs.
2) Push one of the bands up and onto the top section of the cone. Place the cone over the skin tag and level with the surrounding skin area.
3) Place the TagBand remover onto the cone and push lightly until the band pops off the end.
4) The band will now be held securely in place where it will remain until the skin tag has dropped off. The skin tag can take up to a few weeks to drop off.
Note: Treating skin tags at home is a cost-efficient way of removal. If you are treating a skin tag that is at least 2mm in size, then using the easy to use Micro TagBand kit or Tagband kit will remove the skin tag safely and efficiently.
Skin tags that are on the eyelid or eye area are not recommended to be treated using a home treatment. Other skin complaints such as moles are not suitable for removal using a home skin tag treatment. Moles are normally brown or black in colour compared to the fleshy pink colour of a skin tag. Moles are also normally flatter to the skins surface compared to a skin tag which will normally be more raised even when small.
When to visit a doctor?
If you have any concerns with what you are trying to treat you should first visit your local GP before starting any treatment.
If the skin tags are unusually large or painful
If skin tags start to change appearance or size or shape