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mrjadkins's avatar

What is a skin tag and how does one remove it?

Asked by mrjadkins (1246 points ) July 26th, 2008

I have this strange spot on my leg and someone told me it is a skin tag. I want it gone.

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16 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

uhh i dont know exactly what it is. Im sure a quick search on wikipedia will tell you though. As far as removal goes, my mom had a few and went to her normal doctor. Its evidently a very simple procedure.

Randy's avatar

I had one once. I took fingernail clippers to it. I DO NOT SUGGEST THIS! It bleed a long time and hurt really bad. Just go see your doctor. He/she can fix you right up.

Seesul's avatar

Just an extra growth of skin that looks like a tag, hence the name. They usually just freeze them off with liquid nitrogen at the doc’s office. No big deal, usually. Anything unusual on the skin should be checked by a doctor, though. All though it is probably not anything big (such as skin cancer), it is nothing to fool around without, without a professional opinion, as the serious stuff can sometimes get out of hand quickly, when it could have been easy to take care of, if one had acted fast.

When visiting the dermatologist, ask what signs to look for in the future and have him/her check out anything else on your skin. It’s also a good time to ask about recommendations for sun screen, etc. for your particular skin type.

dragonflyfaith's avatar

Yeah don’t try to do it yourself. Ouch! I have a mole type thing I pulled off when I was 5, bled like crazy and then grew back.

My father in law has skin tags and is in the process of having them removed a few at a time. He said it’s not bad at all.

marinelife's avatar

Take a look at this article which I excerpted. It has four pages and tells you everything you need to know. From medicine net:

“A skin tag is a common, acquired benign skin growth that looks like a small piece of hanging skin. Skin tags are often described as bits of skin- or flesh-colored tissue that projects from the surrounding skin from a small, narrow stalk. They typically occur in characteristic locations including the neck, underarms, eyelids, and under the breasts (especially where underwire bras rub directly beneath the breasts). Although skin tags may vary somewhat in appearance, they are usually smooth or slightly wrinkled and irregular, flesh-colored or slightly more brown, and hang from the skin by a small stalk. Early or beginning skin tags may be as small as a flattened pinpoint-sized bump around the neck. Some skin tags may be as large as a big grape.”

dragonflyfaith's avatar

@Marina I had no idea they could get that big! Wow.

ava's avatar

If you sterilize a fingernail clipper and do it yourself, you will be fine. Make sure you treat it like a wound and sterilize the spot that you cut it from afterwards and put some neosporin on it. Skin tags do tend to be bleeders, however getting rid of them really isn’t a big deal. Make sure that you get the very bottom of the stalk to prevent re-growth.

stratman37's avatar

Like ava said, cut it right at the bottom. I took one off myself once. At the risk of TMI, it’s location required the use of my camcorder hook up to the TV so I could see what I was doing! And I thought, if I was going to go to such lengths, I might as well tape the deed. Yeah, they bleed like a stuck pig so have a bandaid handy!

ideabrian's avatar

Whenever I consider self surgery, I just ask myself: “Well, what if I got in a knife fight and it got cut off? Would I die?” (if no, you can do it yourself)

Disclaimer: I’m not a Dr. I just play one on Fluther.

ccrash3's avatar

We remove skin tags in our derm office all the time. They are caused by rubbing of skin to skin (armpits, under breasts, thighs, etc). You can have them removed, but more will most likely return. They are usually considered cosmetic, so insurance won’t cover unless they are very irriated. We cut them off at the base with special scissors that get right next to the skin. They will bleed alot, so be prepared. We use a solution to stop the bleeding, but as long as the tags are tiny it shouldn’t be a problem. We do send them to the lab for biopsy to make sure they are truly tags.

goober's avatar

Tie some cotton or fishing line tight around the base of the tag,the tag itself will then be starved of a blood supply which inturn will kill the cells,then it turns black and falls off.
No blood no pain.Hope this helps.

ncstuart's avatar

I use a brand new razor after carefully cleaning the skin, first with soap and water and then rubbing alcohol. It bleeds and I use alcohol with some pressuren and then antibacterial cream with a bandaid if possible. Change a few times a day. None has returned. For the much flatter skin bumps on my face, I use retin A for a few weeks.
(I see the dermatologist once a year to be sure I do not have skin cancer, but do not pay her to have these removed.)

fundevogel's avatar

I used to get those in my armpits, they always went away on their own though. Unless you’ve had yours a long time you might just give it a little time.

Val123's avatar

Use a wood burning tool and burn it off. Works like a charm. Yes, I am serious. I went to the Dr. once to have them removed, and that’s what they did, with some little hot cauterizing tool. She just laughed when I told her I could have done that with a wood burning tool. She said, “I don’t think so!” Well, I think so. And it works. Also, if I see a little broken vein in my leg, I cauterize both ends and it goes away. Seriously.

Aster's avatar

I had one. The doctor SPRAYED IT WITH SOMETHING THAT MAKES IT NUMB then cut it off with scissors!! I felt nothing!!
You can buy the spray on the internet. Zylocaine spray???

Nullo's avatar

I used to have a big ol’ skin tag on my neck, with a head the size of a pea. I’d toy with the idea of snipping it off now and then, but never worked up the nerve.
Then one day, I noticed that it was all shriveled up. A week later, it just.. fell off. That was the end of it.

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