Skin tags are small benign tumors that form in areas where there is folding of skin like neck, armpit, groin and eyelid. They are harmless and painless and don’t actually change or grow with time. They may be between 1 to 5 mm in length, and be skin color or slightly darker.
It is the general notion to think that these excess skin growths are cancerous. However this may not always be true as extra skin growths like skin tags are benign and are not at all cancerous. Sometimes it is the surrounding skin of a skin tag that may become cancerous, but not the skin tags.
These benign skin tags may have a smooth or irregular appearance which may look ugly, especially if they are on the face. These skin tags polyps are generally harmless; however there is a chance of them getting irritated with the rubbing of clothes, jewelry or also with shaving.
Cause is not known
It is still not known what the exact cause is for the formation of skin tags. However as skin tag polyps are found mostly in folds of skin, it is thought that they arise from the rubbing of skin against skin. Both men and women suffer from skin tags.
If you feel uncomfortable with the presence of skin tags, it is possible to get rid of this discomfort by removing the skin tags. The most popular option used is ligation where the skin tags are tied at its base using a piece of thin thread or dental floss. This cuts off the blood supply to the skin tags, which in turn makes the skin tags fall off after a few days.
It is also possible to remove skin tags by burning them with electricity through electrocauterization. Cryotherapy is a skin tag removal option where the skin tags are frozen by spraying or applying liquid nitrogen on the skin tags.
Be careful with liquid nitrogen
The liquid nitrogen kills the cells of the skin tags and makes them fall off. Depending on the number of skin tags you have the doctor decides the level of cryotherapy required to remove the skin tags.
Due to the fact that liquid nitrogen is extremely cold and destroys the skin it comes in contact with, precaution has to be taken to ensure it does not touch normal skin during cryotherapy.
Try home remedies
If you don’t want to take the risk of surgery and liquid nitrogen in removing skin tags, you can always try home remedies to remove the skin tags. Frequent application of a paste of baking soda and castor oil on the skin tags will dry them up in two weeks’ time.
Try applying herbal extracts like castor oil or tea tree oil on the skin tags to remove them. These oils target only skin tags, and don’t harm the surrounding skin. There are other similar skin tag home remedies you could try to get rid of skin tags.
However remember that with home remedies, you cannot expect immediate removal of skin tags. You will have to wait for a few days or weeks of application before you see any results.