Skin tags are little annoying flaps of skin that look a bit like warts (1).
They’re usually either pink or brown and small in size.
Skin tags are painless and harmless, but many people find them cosmetically unappealing.
Skin Tags vs. Warts
Skin tags are:
- Smooth and soft
- Knobby, they tend to hang off the skin
- Spontaneous – it’s hard to predict if they’ll appear
- Not contagious
- Rough, with an irregular surface (2)
- Caused by HPV (human papilloma virus)
- Contagious, they often spread and appear in clusters
Why Do Skin Tags Appear?
Skin tags are benign tumours (non-cancerous) about the size of a grain of rice.
“The friction created by skin rubbing against skin, a side effect of being overweight, is what causes skin tags in certain people, and explains why skin tags often grow in body folds.” via EverydayHealth
Where Do they Form?
Skin tags usually appear around natural skin folds. This includes near the eyelids, neck, groin, armpits and under the breasts.
Who Gets Skin Tags?
Skin tags are actually as common as they are harmless. Everyone, with little exception, develops one in their lifetime.
- People who are overweight and obese, probably because they have more skin folds and creases
- Pregnant women – most likely because of the hormones secreted
- Individuals with diabetes
- People with the human papilloma virus (low-risk HPV 6 and 11)
- Illegal steroid use – they interfere with the body and muscles, causing the collagen fibers in the skin to bond, allowing skin tags to be formed. via MedicalNewsToday
But that doesn’t mean that children, teens and young adults can’t get them too!
How To Get Rid Of Skin Tags
Other than being annoying, skin tags can get irritated by jewellery, clothing or shaving.
It’s always best to visit a dermatologist or doctor to get a proper diagnosis before attempting to remove skin tags. They can also freeze or cut off skin tags quite painlessly, especially in tricky spots.
This procedure isn’t typically covered by insurance, so if you want to clear them yourself, keep on reading!
How To Remove Skin Tags Using Thread
Whether you use a regular sewing thread or dental floss, blocking the blood flow to the skin tag will slowly kill it. This a proven method with a high success rate.
- clean the tag with alcohol
- use a piece of sewing thread or dental floss and tie it tightly around the base of the skin tag
- repeat the process for a few days (make sure to readjust the thread as the tag becomes smaller)
The skin tag will eventually shrivel up and fall off by itself.