Skin tag removal is a pretty common treatment that thousands of people get on a regular basis. This quick and almost painless process helps patients who are slighted by the sight of their skin tags or troubled as they get in their way, to get rid of them. However, there are times when a patient wants them removed due to their cancerous nature – the only time it is a necessity.

In this article, let’s go over everything we know about skin tags and skin tag removal. 

What Causes Skin Tags?

Skin tags do not have a particular reason in most cases. However, constant friction can be a factor that increases the probability of getting a skin tag. The tags are also more often found in patients with obesity, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, human papillomavirus; as well as pregnant women. In some cases, genetics might be responsible for the tags a person gets on their body.

Where are Skin Tags Most Likely to Form?

Tags are most likely to form in places like the neck, armpits, chest, under the breast, back, abdomen, eyelids and groin region. While in most cases the tags do not interfere with a person’s lifestyle, the tag on a person’s eyelid can impede their vision.

Can I Do Anything to Prevent Skin Tags?

The reason for the appearance of skin tags is still unknown, therefore there are no specific guidelines that you can follow to prevent them. However, since the tags are associated with obesity, you can adopt a healthy lifestyle to avoid it. The more controlled your weight will be, there will be limited friction of the skin. However, this idea may not work in the case of eyelids, armpits and the groin.

What Are Skin Tags Made Up of?

Skin tags are made up of collagen, fat, nerve cells and blood vessels, covered with the same layer of skin found across the whole body. Since these are made up of your skin, it has the same color as your skin tone. However, if the tag gets twisted and all blood flow is blocked, the tag can turn purple or black.

Do I Need to Have Skin Tags Removed?

Depends. There is no compulsion for you to get your skin tags removed if they aren’t hindering your lifestyle. If your tags haven’t changed their color, haven’t changed in size, are painless and you aren’t disturbed by their sight, you do not have to remove the tags.

However, there are situations when you must get them surgically removed or atleast consult a physician for a professional opinion.

When Should I Get Skin Tags Removed Professionally?

Skin tag removal is a crucial process if you find your skin tag to be cancerous. In most cases, there will be common indications such as:

  • The growing size of the tag
  • Changing the color of the tag
  • Changing the shape of the tag

If you are worried about any of these indications, you can make an appointment with a dermatologist. The physician will perform a biopsy 9take a tissue sample and study it) to find its nature. If the tag turns out to be cancerous, complete removal of the tag and nearby regions is crucial to avoid the spread of cancer.

In this case, you should never perform a DIY surgery as it can aggravate the infection and spread cancer across the body. We’ll discuss the dangers in a later part.

How to Get Skin Tags Removed?

A professional might use one of the following methods to get rid of your skin tags.


This method requires the use of surgical scissors or a scalpel to cut off the tag.


Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the skin tag in a controlled setting. This eventually causes the tag to fall off without disturbing the surrounding skin or tissue.


The process involves supplying an electric current to the tag to dry it out. This will eventually cause the tag to fall off.

Can a Skin Tag Return?

It can. However, that is rarely the case. If your skin tag is a simple benign (non-cancerous) growth, chances are that it won’t return once removed professionally. However, if the tag is cancerous, regrowth is completely possible. Also, if you’re more prone to get skin tags, due to genetics, a medical condition or any other reason, you might get skin tags in other areas of the body.

Can I Remove a Skin Tag On My Own?

DIY skin tag removal is possible with over-the-counter medications and some home remedies. It is best to remember that over-the-counter options are not approved or regulated by the FDA. These will also take much longer to show effects while a surgical procedure by a professional takes a few minutes. Either way, if you are trying to remove the tag yourself, you can find the following products:

Removal bands and patches: The bands cut off blood supply to the skin tag which kills the cells and the tag falls off.

Removal cream: The creams take about 2-3 weeks to remove the tag, but show positive results.

Freezing kits: The product must be applied to the tag a few times before it falls off. However, the product can be irritating for surrounding areas.

Some home remedies that people stand by can be:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Iodine

Apart from these, people also prefer cutting or clipping their skin tags at home. This is not recommended for the following reasons:

  • It can lead to extreme blood loss in people who use blood thinners
  • Can result in injury and eventually infection
  • If the tag is cancerous, it can spread to other parts
  • You can nick a blood vessel or vein
  • This will leave a scar on your body

Generally, self-medicating is not recommended if the skin tag is located around the eyes or the genitals, is too big or when the tags are painful and irritated. It’s better to let a professional have a look.